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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Writing Quote: Dialogue in the New Journalism Genre

With the old journalism, quoted dialogue was short, relevant but not necessarily dramatic. Eye-witness accounts gave credibility to recitation of facts, and if there was dramatic fall out, so much the better. But knew we change emphasis: We narrative nonfiction writers search for dialogue that will add drama, that will build excitement while staying glued to facts. Often, it's extended dialogue, long passages or a series of shorter, uninterrupted passages that tell a story in the character's own words. We use this dialogue, not to modify the facts but to present the facts. The character tells us the story (or a significant portion of it) in their words, and the result is building drama.

William Noble in The Portable Writers' Conference, edited by Stephen Blake Mettee, 1997 

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