17.31: Everyone Has an Agenda

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Maurice Broaddus, and Howard Tayler

We’ve mentioned “area of intention” earlier in this dialog master class, but now the concept gets the spotlight. If all of your characters have their own agendas, their own areas of intention, then the dialog between them should reflect that.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.


Identify the characters’ areas of intent. Remove all lines of dialog that don’t support that intent.

5 thoughts on “17.31: Everyone Has an Agenda”

  1. This week, the interrogation proceeded, with Dan, Mary Robinette, Maurice, and Howard advancing the agenda of dialogues and goals. Fast food and milkshakes. Salt? Apologies! Go ahead, read all about it in the transcript available now in the archives.

  2. This latest masterclass in dialogue has been full of great advice and useful tools for writers who struggle with dialogue. Even when covering ground that has been covered before (dialogue is just compressed conversation, etc), there were still gems. But now that we’ve moved on to more complex topics like authorial and character intent, I am learning invaluable lessons about how to structure and write conversations.

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