Clips/Highlights, Interview

Episode 266 – “Let’s Talk Dialogue with Jeff Elkins,” He Said Reflectively”

Mark has a conversation with Jeff Elkins, The Dialogue Doctor.

Prior to the main segment, Mark explains his goof-up that led to releasing this particular episode and then shares a few words about this episode’s sponsor.

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at

During their conversation Mark and Jeff speak, chat, discuss, converse, reflect, consider, chew on, and talk about about:

  • How a book that is 160 K can read like it’s so much shorter because it’s 95% dialogue
  • Remembering that dialogue is just another tool that we, as writers can use – and how can it help impact the emotional resonance of your story
  • The distance skyline of NYC versus the details of a narrow street as a parallel for two types of writing (prose and dialogue)
  • The energy-building dialogue of Aaron Sorkin in shows like The West Wing
  • Dialogue in action scenes
  • The love/hate relationship writers can have with dialogue tags
  • And more…

After the interview Mark reflects on one of the things he is going to try in his own writing to help improve his dialogue.

Links of Interest:

Jeff Elkins writes stories about outsiders who fight for outcasts, rejects, and the oppressed. He is the author of more than ten novels, a Certified Three Story Method Editor, and the host of the Dialogue Doctor podcast. During the day, he leads the writing team for a training company that simulates difficult conversations. He lives north of Baltimore, Maryland with his wife of twenty-years and his five kids.

The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 

2 thoughts on “Episode 266 – “Let’s Talk Dialogue with Jeff Elkins,” He Said Reflectively””

  1. Very interesting to hear Jeff talk about dialogue. What struck me the most was in the beginning when he said that the modern reader loses focus after reading three paragraphs of prose, so to keep their interest put more dialogue in. That’s definitely something I need to start doing in my own writing. Especially in the first few chapters to keep the reader turning the pages.

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