1 tables

The Book of Dialogue

How to Write Effective Conversation in Fiction, Screenplays, Drama, and Poetry
By Lewis Turco



The Book of Dialogue is an invaluable resource for writers and students of narrative seeking to master the art of effective dialogue. The book will teach you how to use dialogue to lay the groundwork for events in a story, to balance dialogue with other story elements, to dramatize events through dialogue, and to strategically break up dialogue with other vital elements of your story in order to capture and hold a reader’s or viewer’s interest in the overall arc of the narrative.

Writers will find Turco’s classic an essential reference for crafting dialogue. Using dialogue to teach dialogue, Turco’s chapters focus on narration, diction, speech, and genre dialogue. Through the Socratic dialogue method—invented by Plato in his dialogues outlining the teachings of Socrates—Turco provides an effective tool to teach effective discourse. He notes, “Plato wrote lies in order to tell the truth. That’s what a fiction writer does and has always done.” Now it’s your turn.

Contributor Bios
Lewis Turco is an emeritus professor and the founding director of the Program in Writing Arts at SUNY–Oswego and the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. An award-winning author, Turco has published twenty-one collections of poetry and nonfiction, including The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics, Fifth Edition, and The Book of Literary Terms: The Genre of Fiction, Drama, Nonfiction, Literary Criticism, and Scholarship, Second Edition.