What’s the Point in Talking?

A Weekend on Dialogue with Claire Keegan Goldsmiths University, London 10am–5pm, October 24 & 25, 2020

In response to many requests, Claire Keegan will be directing another weekend on writing dialogue. She will argue that human speech is full of casual and consequential misunderstanding, that some of what we (or our characters) say is not what we wish to say or reveal or realise — or hear. She will also focus on why it isn’t always possible to hear what is being said, and why we often cannot or do not wish to listen. And how, despite our attempts to say little, we reveal a great deal through speech; how, through our talk and silences, we give ourselves away. 

Course participants will be asked to read specific scenes from two novels, and six short stories. Participants will also consider accents, dialogue layout, pacing, humour and balancing descriptive paragraphs with dialogue. 

This course will likely be of interest to those who read, act, write or edit novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, screen plays — or are simply interested in reading or how and why people talk. 

To book your place, email ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com

Tuition £450. 

A 50% deposit secures a reservation. 

All welcome.

Excerpts from novels: 

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

2. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Short stories: 

3. “The District Doctor,” by Ivan Turgenev, translated by Constance Garnett 

4. “Reunion” by John Cheever 

5. “Miss Brill,” by Katherine Mansfield 

6. “Hills Like White Elephants,” Ernest Hemingway  

7. “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love,” by Raymond Carver 

8. “Kathleen’s Field,” by William Trevor 

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