This post was cowritten by Mentor and Mentee pair, Avra and Kirby.
Avra: I think we both enjoyed getting together with the other mentees and mentors of Girls Write Now to learn about the art of dialogue by trying our hand at Romance Writing. The question: How do real people talk to each other — real people in love?
Kirby: That was a challenge for me because I’m only 15 and I’ve rarely ever had romantic encounters, so I wasn’t sure how a typical conversation between two lovers would go. However, to be able to step out of my usual genres of poetry and realistic fiction and write about something completely different was actually fun. It even made me gain an interest in wanting to write romance. I also appreciated the fact that we wrote about real conversations people would normally have, and that they weren’t as clichéd and fantastic as they are on television.
Avra: Me, too. I liked that we started by choosing a photograph of a couple and, from their body language, imagined what their relationship was, what they were saying to each other. And then we had to think about what the conflict between them might be. Plus, wasn’t it a treat to have Colleen Katana, a real romance author, give us tips on writing dialogue? I thought two of her suggestions were great: eavesdrop (!); and have friends act out what you’ve written to see if it sounds like actual folks speaking.
Kirby: That’s what I loved because I am a big fan of realism, and the romance workshop emphasized realism, not fantasy. Listening to my fellow mentees’ and mentors’ romance dialogues fascinated me because it opened my eyes to the different ways love and romance exist throughout our world.