Lets Write Dialogue

Ref: C2343939

Do you struggle to make dialogue sound realistic? Or do you find you have a natural 'ear' for it, that you'd like to develop further? Taught by a published poet and short fiction writer who uses dialogue in her own work, this course aims to get writers recording and sensing the rhythms of human conversation, one of the writer's most important natural assets. So come and write and discuss that writing with like minded participants.

Course aim

Many writers find dialogue hard. Some have a natural ear for it, like reading music. These sessions are aimed at helping writers to 'unblock' or improve their ear for dialogue, and uses different techniques to help them progress.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise how to use elements of human speech to characterise 'voices' - our exploration will include looking at pauses, sniffs, repeated words, cliched phrases, throat clearing and elements that might make written speech sound more natural.
  • Students will be encouraged to explore 'speech note taking' and how to use this - notebook useful for this exercise.
  • Explore and discuss what differentiates one character's voice from another - what we might call 'Dickensian note making.' This will have been explained in class.
  • An exercise involving two characters speaking, will allow ideas on how to space dialogue to come to the fore, ideas that can be built on during and after the course.
  • Students will be encouraged to explore writing down 'scenarios for speech' and recognise how these work on paper.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Please keep a writer's notebook, whatever form, digital or paper, this may take. Please bring this to class. If you want to see how other writers use speech look up Alan Bennett, Victoria Wood, and film maker Shane Meadows on You Tube and watch some clips.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will be able to keep a record of your progress and achievement using photos, audio, text or documents uploaded into the WEA’s digital learning platform, WEA Canvas.
  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • The Tutor will share their own writing experience with you.

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Please bring pen, paper and your notebook to each Zoom session.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You will have access to course resources and links to wider learning through the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The Tutor has lots of poems and stories that involve dialogue. Her book Pavilion, set in Brighton, used lots of local speech (Smokestack Books, 2010), as does her latest volume, Mr Bowlly Regrets (King's England, 2017). Turned Out Nice Again (same publisher, 2013) is a book of 1940s set stories.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • If you write regularly and want to send work out, please ask the tutor for advice, which she's glad to give.

Download full course information sheet

Lets Write Dialogue

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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