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“Think of dialogue in fiction as what is left when the extraneous verbiage is stripped away,”


With chapters on:

The Mechanics of Dialogue: Tags, Talking Verbs, and Punctuation

How Art Does not Imitate Life

Tension: Surprise in Every Line

Hearing is Seeing

Choreography and Description and their Relationship to Dialogue

Telling Story Through Dialogue

Dialect, Accents, and the Vernacular


“John Hough, Jr. is the best teacher and editor I've ever worked with. His understanding of story and character is unparalleled, and the man is a genius with dialogue. This book is my new Bible.”

—Robert Dugoni, bestselling author of My Sister's Grave