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EGL 100 — Say What? Mastering the Art of Dialogue

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 18—Mar 22
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Jan 31
Units: 3
Tuition: $660
Instructor(s): Elizabeth Percer
Limit: 21
Status: Registration opens on 12/04/2017
On-campus course
6:30—9:20 pm
Jan 18—Mar 22
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 31
3 Units
Elizabeth Percer
Registration opens on 12/04/2017
Mastering dialogue can be among the most challenging and rewarding aspects of writing fiction. In this course, we will unpack the alchemy of successful dialogue by studying masters of the craft and examining our own attempts to capture the voice on the page. We will begin each session with a lively discussion of how dialogue works on a variety of levels by looking at a range of stellar examples from Sherman Alexie, Grace Paley, ZZ Packer, and many others. We will use these examples as jumping-off points for prompts designed to explore specific elements of dialogue, including tone, pacing, subtext, the art of the visual cue, the rewards and pitfalls of dialect, and developing realistic and compelling voices for our characters. The latter half of each session will be devoted to a careful consideration of student work, drawing on what we know and appreciate about good dialogue to help hone and shape our own efforts. By the end of the course, students will have developed a better understanding of how to use dialogue to bring greater authenticity and dynamism to their work.

Elizabeth Percer, Author

Elizabeth Percer is the author of two novels, All Stories Are Love Stories and An Uncommon Education, as well as Ultrasound, a book of poems reflecting on the intersections of pregnancy and medicine. She is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, and has twice received awards from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation. Percer received a PhD in arts education from Stanford, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the National Writing Project at UC Berkeley.