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They Walk! They Talk! : Secrets to Writing Engaging Characters & Vivid Dialogue

October 4, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm EDT

Virtual Event Virtual Event


Characterization in memoir is always a challenge: How can we make the people we know feel as real and alive for readers as they do to us?

As writers, we must remember that our readers have never met the people in our memoir; they know only what we tell them. And sometimes, we know our characters—family, friends, enemies—so well that we forget we need to introduce them in all their complexity. 

Using examples from award-winning writers such as Cheryl Strayed, Richard Rodriguez, Kiese Laymon, and Kathryn Harrison, this how-to webinar will examine the many ways in which people come to know other people and make judgments about them in real life as well as on the page.

We will also explore the importance of compassion when writing about others, especially family members who may not always have acted well. Finally, we’ll examine dialogue as a tool for creating lively and believable characters, and consider the challenges of capturing how “real people” talk. Prompts and brief writing exercises will be included.

In this webinar, you will:

  • DISCOVER what makes readers genuinely care about the people in your memoir.
  • LEARN how people assess character, in real life and on the page.
  • DISTINGUISH between dialogue that merely provides information and dialogue that reveals character.
  • UNDERSTAND that readers want to participate in a story (not just watch from a distance) and how to make this participation possible.

This webinar is ideal for writers at any level, at the beginning of a project or in the revision process

Closed captioning is available. ✔
All registrants receive the recording. ✔


DINTY W. MOORE is author of the memoirs Between Panic & Desire, and To Hell With It, the writing guides The Story Cure, Crafting the Personal Essay, and The Mindful Writer, among many other books. He has published essays and stories in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. Moore is founding editor of Brevity, the journal of flash nonfiction and co-editor of The Best of Brevity: Twenty Years of Groundbreaking Flash Nonfiction. He teaches master classes and workshops across the United States as well as in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico. 



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October 4, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm EDT
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Dinty W. Moore
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