Dialogue – The Deep Dive
Harness the power of what’s said and unsaid in your fiction and learn to write authentic conversations that lift your story off the page.
Dialogue is one of a writer’s most useful tools, but it can also be tough to get right. Across four weeks, bestselling author Laura Barnett will teach you how to write, edit and troubleshoot fictional dialogue that immerses your reader and captures the way people actually speak.
You’ll explore how to use dialogue to enact growth, revelation and change in your story – and learn how to tap into the interior dialogue of your protagonist, revealing what’s in your characters’ hearts and minds. You’ll also be given practical advice on how to use body language alongside speech, handle accents and dialect with care, and present your dialogue on the page in a way that readers can follow.
By the end of the course, you’ll feel confident writing engaging and expressive conversations that help the reader take a leap into the world of your story.
Laura’s first novel, The Versions of Us (2015) was a number-one bestseller, it has been translated into 24 languages, and was shortlisted for Debut of the Year at the British Book Awards. She’s had three further books out since then: Greatest Hits (2017), which features an accompanying musical soundtrack by Kathryn Williams; Gifts (2021), a novel in short stories; and This Beating Heart (2022). Her fifth novel, Births, Deaths and Marriages, will be published in 2025. She delivered a TedX talk on originality in fiction, and worked as a writing mentor for the charity Arts Emergency. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Writing School. Laura has taught many novel-writing courses for CBC in London and online, and she currently mentors members of our alumni community.
WHAT DOES THIS COURSE GIVE YOU?
- Video modules: Work through four modules comprising teaching videos and substantial notes by Laura Barnett. Topics range from formatting dialogue to using conversations and miscommunications to build believable relationships between characters.
- Writing tasks: Weekly writing tasks to help you explore and understand the teaching topics and progress your novel.
- Resources & notes: You’ll get access to extensive teaching materials, including writing prompts and a list of recommended reading.
- Professional feedback: An expert CBC editor will give brief written feedback on several of the students' practical assignments every week, with all students receiving feedback on one of their writing tasks. Students are also given the option to purchase additional end-of-course feedback from our expert editors.
- Student forum: Find your writing community on our private student forums. Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.
COURSE SCHEDULE & DELIVERY
Our online courses are designed for flexible learning. Allocate your own study time and take part from wherever you are in the world. Each week, we recommend spending at least four hours on the course.
WEEK 1Why dialogue matters
WEEK 2The supporting structure
WEEK 3Communication breakdowns
WEEK 4Interiority & troubleshooting
All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor.
- CBC report: For an additional fee of £145, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your work (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our editors.
- CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £240, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your work.
GIFT THIS COURSE
Encourage your writerly friend or loved one to get creative! We have £125 digital gift vouchers available, enabling you to buy any four-week online course as a present.
Hone your ear for dialogue and learn how to deploy this vital storytelling tool to best effect in your fiction.