- Series: The Red Sneaker Writers Books Series
- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: Babylon Books; 4 edition (February 2, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0989378942
- ISBN-13: 978-0989378949
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dynamic Dialogue: Letting Your Story Speak (The Red Sneaker Writers Books Series) 4th Edition
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All of that said, this book may be valuable to you if a set of one-size-fits all rules works better with your personality than working to develop your own style. This book can't help you create literary fiction or well-written popular fiction, but it could give some guidance which might be useful in creating minimally effective popular fiction. And because of its cut-and-dry, these-are-the-rules approach, it might help you produce minimally effective popular fiction much faster than books that discuss style and options. As such, for those interested in publishing and publishing now with an emphasis on wide distribution above all else, this may be useful to you. Just be prepared for people to criticize your writing style. Don't actually believe Bernhardt's hype: He's not advocating for good writing. He's advocating for a very simple, direct, popular style that's one style among many and is frequently criticized as bad writing.
I'm writing this review because I was misled by other reviews. This is not a useful book if you're looking for a discussion of how to write good, interesting dialogue. This might, however (and I may be stretching here to try to find some explanation for the positive reviews), be a useful book if you're looking for strict rules that can help you bypass the development of style and attempt to cut right to the popular market (which, while it contains many examples of good writing, also contains many examples of interesting stories written badly). If that's your goal, there may be ways in which this book could help. There's room for all kinds of writers, after all (regardless of what Bernhardt claims). This book was useless for me, because my goals didn't align with trying to find the simplest set of rules so that I could try to get to market as quickly as possible. Instead, as I said, I wanted to learn more about writing dialogue *well.* For me, reading this book was just an exercise in patience as I hoped his arrogance would translate into some kind of fruitful information at some point. Unfortunately, it just moved from bad example to bad example and from obviously-wrong-rule to obviously-wrong-rule (i.e., rules violated regularly by most respected writers) with a few basic, universally accepted suggestions every single writing book mentions thrown in for good measure.
Bernardt's book on Dynamic Dialogue is a great book for beginners and a review for the advanced. The first half covered information I already knew, but I continued reading on and did find valuable information presented in an easy to understand way that was valuable to me. So, based on the last half of the book, I give the book a 5-star. If I even glean one important fact that helps me, I consider it money well spent.
I listened to the extremely well-crafted audiobooks on my commute for a month straight and gained a ton of insight into my writing.
Highly recommended for anyone serious about improving their craft. Bernhardt is spot-on with advice. And as far as craft education, the series is a bargain!