Author's Notes
Matthew Warner

A Monologue about Dialogue (Part 1)

For every rule, there's an exception--Congress even has rule suspensions, as I've learned in my day job--so nothing you'll ever hear about allegedly proper technique is an absolute. That goes especially for my opinions about dialogue. A writing "rule" is really a convention, after all, and for every one, such as, "Thou shalt not cast thyself in thy novel," there is a successful breach, like with that character Stephen King in The Dark Tower (by Stephen King).

Consider the reverse, however. For every successful breach of common practice, there are hundreds of failures. Check out any editor's sky-high rejection pile if you don't believe me. Conventions exist for good reasons.

This article is no longer available online.

Read it in Matthew Warner's new collection

Horror Isn't a 4-Letter Word:
Essays on Writing & Appreciating the Genre

Horror Isn't a 4-Letter Word


Matthew Warner is the author of the critically acclaimed first novel The Organ Donor and a forthcoming story in Cemetery Dance magazine. He lives in Falls Church, VA, with illustrator and web designer Deena Warner. Stop by his website and say hi.

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