National Writing Project

Writing Fiction: A Self-Interview

By: Donald Murray
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 2
Date: March 1983

Summary: Murray lets us in on writing advice he gives himself and his students, addressing such questions as "What do you mean by voice?" and "How do you organize a story?"



What Should You Remember About Dialogue?

That people speak differently. Make their speech patterns different. Read aloud, and remember that the characters speaking to each other have a shared world. Write: "What's for breakfast?" Don't turn to the reader and explain that breakfast is the first meal of the day and that one of the characters likes it and one doesn't like it. Reveal that through dialogue. "Want an egg?" "I don't even want to smell you eating an egg."

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