People talking. Dialogue. Here’s what the American Heritage Dictionary (online) has to say about it:
1. a. A conversation between two or more people. b. A discussion of positions or beliefs, especially between groups to resolve a disagreement.2. a. Conversation between characters in a drama or narrative. b. The lines or passages in a script that are intended to be spoken.
Here we’re mainly concerned with #2, but as you’ll see, #1 is also important, especially #1a.
Writers of technical and scholarly material may not have to bother with dialogue. They can write papers and whole books in which people don’t talk to each other. For fiction writers, memoirists, and writers of nonfiction of a more personal kind, dialogue is almost indispensable. It also comes in handy for journalists and academics who incorporate interviews with real people into their work. They don’t make the dialogue up, but it takes skill…
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