Recently, on a website for writers, I read an interesting opinion, written by a teacher of college-level writing workshops. It applies to dialogue as well as to other aspects of our writing.
I can’t recall his name, but he said, in part, that he believes that the main purpose of writing workshops and critique groups is not so much the comments we receive from other writers about our work but the comments we, ourselves, make about the work of others. When we look for weakness in plot and structure, character and voice, and of course, how the dialogue reads and sounds, and write down our notes on someone else’s manuscript, it strengthens our own writing. While what others perceive is helpful, our best insights to our own work come as we read and note what others have done.
I thought this was an interesting observation, and while I don’t necessarily agree with it completely, I thought it was certainly something to consider.
Contributed by Marjorie Flathers