Hank Schwaeble talks about his “Of Course You’d Say Something Like That: Characterization Through Dialogue” workshop

facebook_1462908461795Tell us something about your StokerCon Workshop that is not in the original description.

I’m going to explain concepts like “writing on the nose,” how it applies to screenwriting, when and why you might want to avoid it in fiction, and strategies to minimize it when you do.  Also, I’ll explore the do’s and don’t’s of dialog tags and why they pose a danger to both the quality and the depth of your characters if not handled correctly.

What skills or achievements make you ideally suited to lead this workshop?

In addition to having written and edited award winning fiction, as a lawyer I’ve taken and reviewed countless deposition transcripts, something that’s allowed me to repeatedly compare the difference between how spoken conversations sound versus how they read.

Why do you feel that your workshop subject is especially important?

Dialogue is the primary way readers will relate to your characters, and a case can be made it offers the only truly objective depiction of them you can truly offer.

If you could participate in one other StokerCon workshop, which one would you choose and why?

Any of them, because I honestly think every writer can learn and benefit from instruction on any subject. I learn from teaching as much as participating.

Do you approach the craft of writing horror differently from other genres?

Yes, I have to admit. I believe even more care has to be taken in mastering the fundamentals when it comes to horror, because everything about the experience tends to intensified and that can be difficult to sustain, often requiring even more care in the execution.

Apart from teaching your workshop, what are you most looking forward to at StokerCon?

There is no better place to socialize with peers and meet new friends who understand obscure horror movie references.

What do you most hope that those attending your workshop will take away from it?

That writing is work, that skill comes through practice and understanding of the craft, and that dialog is one of the four pillars of characterization, and arguably the most important of all.


Click here to read more about Hank and his workshop, or to register for any of the Horror University workshops.