powered by your voice
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YWP Book Club

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The YWP Book Club will start reading Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart on July 24th. Each month, we all vote on a book to read together as a community, and this is what you picked for July/August! There will be discussions,...
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Commenting

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This workshop will show you how to comment and give feedback on the work of your fellow YWP writers.

Commenting on someone's piece is not just saying "Great job!" or "I LOVED it!" Giving someone a productive, informative, and useful comment goes far beyond a simple "Nice poem" one-liner...
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Story Starter

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This workshop is designed to help you find and explore story ideas BUT but but maybe not finish anything.

We know that's contrarian, but we want you to find an idea you're excited about. So, if in doing this workshop, you find that idea, well, that's...
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Sound Story

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This workshop will help you make strong recordings of yourself narrating your favorite posts. YWP loves to have you use audio for two reasons:
  1. When you say your piece out loud you'll discover some changes that need to be made.
  2. We have several publication outlets that ...
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The 5-Photo Story

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First, some acknowledgments to De Controleon (not a real name) at https://www.flickr.com/photos/tekstbazaar/  for creating the "Bag Lady" 5-photo story. 

This workshop is for play. And...
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Storytelling101 -- SOS2017

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This workshop is aimed at getting you to tell a tale. And this workshop will show how a story can come from the seemingly commonplace and how it can come from some small thing that happens to you, or that you see, or that comes out of your brain (by accident.) We'll  emphasize prose, but if you...
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NetNarr -- COMPLETED

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So Vermont youths (and guests), gather around, lend an ear.

This week -- March 15 -- 18, our little Island of Awesomeness, our Galaxy of Stupendous, our Oasis of Niceness will get some visitors. Aboard the S.S. Vermontish of the fabled Royal Carribbean line (...
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Delta Blues

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Conversations from the Open Road is traveling to the Mississippi Delta region to learn about the blues. What defines 'The Blues'? Is it a musical style, a message, a reflection of a particular historical moment in a particular place for a particular community?
This workshop...
Name: Completion Time: 8-10 hours total

Middlebury Playwrights Workshop -- COMPLETED

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Welcome to the Middlebury Playwrights Workshop – a progression of mentored writing activities designed to help you write and develop your own 10-minute play. 

This workshop was designed by Middlebury students taught by award-winning playwright Dana Yeaton. His advanced playwriting...
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Community Story -- 101

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THIS IS A PREP FOR COMMUNITY STORY -- 102

OVERVIEW: Storytelling, or narrative, is at the root of all good writing. This project -- pre-work and workshop -- is aimed at helping all of you -- students AND teachers -- create an engaging story about your community. It can...
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Storytelling - I (Humor)

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You may be one of these people: The person who comes into school on Monday morning and gets you, somehow, out of your funk with a story of some crazy, funny thing that happened over the weekend. Often they'll use facial expressions, body movement, voice to assist in setting the mood and getting you...
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Mentors Room

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This space is designed to do two things:
  • One to allow mentors -- college students, post college artists, volunteers and even teachers -- to share some of their own writing and digital media that might be just a tad too much for the younger members of the general ywp community.
  • Two to...
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Interviewing II

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This playlist follows Interviewing I and will help you focus on more topic-based projects and help you with interviewing sources, or talking to someone for a profile or finding out information that you can only get from talking to someone in person. This is the basics of journalism.

The...
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The Argument

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Arguments - good ones, anyway - are like cookies. A cookie is convincing. It looks good. It tastes nice. And these wonderful qualities make us reach for more despite the drawbacks of sugar-induced madness.

Most cookies are also pretty easy to make. There are exceptions of course,...
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This I Believe

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As you move through middle school to high school, you will be asked to think about yourself as a person and a learner and what your goals are for the future. One part of this playlist will be to determine some of those goals if you haven’t done so already. 

Also in this playlist, you...
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Acrostics

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For the first poem, try using your name as the prompt. What do you want to say about yourself? Here's one by yours truly...

Running after music since forever.
Evolving into an even bigger book nerd. 
United with the stars and the autumn sky
Born to avoid anything to do...
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Storytelling - I -- COMPLETED

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Storytelling, or narrative, is the essence of writing. All writing. This is where YWP may stray from the strict guidelines of school because we believe narrative techniques can be used effectively in any genre as a way to more deeply engage audience.

This Workshop will...
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Hidden Message Poems

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Hidden message poems are one of those minute-to-learn lifetime-to-master type poems. Anyone can write them, but the better you get, the more you can do with them. This Playlist will walk you through a couple of the possibilities and get you started on the path to a lifetime of hidden messages!...
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Prewriting 101

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Pre-writing is sometimes referred to as “outlining,” “planning,” “storyboarding,” or any number of other names. All of those things fall under the broad category of pre-writing. Things you do before you create a real “draft.”

Everyone has a different style when it comes to their writing...
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Need Ideas? Listen!

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"I don't know what to write about..."  "I can't think of anything..."
Sound familiar?
Well, take a spin through this Playlist and help yourself to some idea generation exercises, focused on using your ears to track down new ideas. Come back to this Playlist whenever you want to try out a...
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Audio Story Basics

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This Playlist will walk through the steps needed to record, manipulate, and export high quality audio content--all with free software and hardware available on most computers. This is a great place to start if you want to begin playing around with sound--turning your writing into spoken word...
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Fun with Pantoum Poems - Completed

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This Playlist will result in the completion of a poem called a Pantoum. It comes from Malaysia, and consists of four stanzas, with four sentences in each stanza. The fun thing about the pantoum is that it uses repetition, so if you want to reemphasize some very memorable detail in the piece,...
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Dialogue Basics

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Writing good dialogue is one of the more difficult things to do in any writing -- non-fiction or fiction -- particularly when writing from a perspective that is not our own. However, dialogue is one of the most powerful tools a writer has at their disposal. It can help establish characters,...
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Quick Poetry Starters

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This Playlist has a number of mini-projects to get you going with some new poetry ideas. This is a great place to start if you're running low on ideas, or just want to get some poems on paper to come back to later. Most of the XPs here are pretty quick, but they could lead to something much bigger...
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Photo Composition: 4-Lighting

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Learn how lighting affects the color and structure of the subject, and influences the mood and meaning of the photo.
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Photo Composition: 5-Perspective

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The camera is the eye of the photographer. Play around with high and low angles, upside down and all around to create a different view of the world.
 
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Interviewing - I

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If you're a curious person, you'll love interviewing which is nothing more than dropping into someone else's world for a while and having a conversation.

The hardest part is, well, doing it. This playlist provides you with some basic techniques and the confidence to become an expert...
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Intro to Japanese Poetry Forms

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One of the more common forms of poetry you see from day to day is the haiku. You may know the basics of what makes a haiku, but did you know that haiku is also the basis for some longer, more complex forms? Let's take a look at some of these forms, and what makes them special--so we can write some...
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Critical Reading

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Read with a critical eye. You'll write better papers and join the conversation around you.
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Fables

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People often think of fables as being age-old stories that have been passed down from one generation to the next--and while that is certainly true of some fables, there are still new ones being created. Contemporary fables--and the morals the contain--serve a valuable purpose in today's society....
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Transitions

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Smooth transitions help create a logical progression. Find out how to use these bridges in your narrative and essay writing.
 
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Argumentative: Point/Counterpoint

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This playlist is a great introduction to argumentative or opinion-based writing. These exercises are more about method than content--giving you an idea of how to approach an argumentative essay of any kind. Being able to argue your point confidently, respectfully, and in a way that is well-received...
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Character and Conflict

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Are you having trouble getting started with a story? Jump into this playlist, and start building your ideas. We'll help you explore new characters and build up a setting and conflict, until you have the makings of a story!
 
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Creating Voice

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In this Playlist, we'll explore what it means to have a voice in your writing. There are many ways that your own writing voice plays into your story. Often, authors have very distinct voices in their work--you can always tell it's their writing, even when the narrator and characters are different....
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Direct & Indirect (STEAL) Characterization

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There are two main ways to build your character and reveal him/her to your audience: direct characterization and indirect characterization. This Playlist explores what each of those mean, and outlines a useful framework for comprehensive indirect characterization, that will help you paint a well-...
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Working with Colors

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Color is all around us. We see and use colors in different ways, every day. Color, and the perception of it, is an experience that we can leverage to create emotion and to guide our storytelling (both visually and otherwise). Let's explore how to make use of color to enhance our visual storytelling...
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Writing Queer Characters

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Writing well about any character requires you to understand what makes that character tick. It helps to think of your characters as real people, and not just words that you've created. A big part of any character is their identity--especially with regards to gender and relationships. Let's take a...
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Write with Style -- Completed

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Be clear. Be brief. Be bold. Turn to the masters, William Strunk Jr., E.B. White and H.W. Fowler, for timeless advice that every writer should know.
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Job Interviews

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Once you've made it through the preliminary rounds of the job search (sending in a cover letter, crafting the perfect resume) one thing that you can hope for, is to be invited in for a face to face interview. Interviews can be pretty intimidating, especially if you haven't done one before. Let's...
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Cover Letters

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When applying for jobs or internships many postings will request or require a cover letter to be included with your resume. And even it's not requested, it's a good idea to include one--granted you know how to create one. This Playlist will help you figure out what a cover letter is, what you need...
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Understanding your Character

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In this playlist, we'll work on creating a new character or developing a character in a story you're working on. Let's take a deep dive into what really makes your character tick. These exercises can be used more than once, if you find yourself stuck with a character you can't seem to fully figure...
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Resumes

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A resume is generally one of the first things you need to go out looking for a job or internship. A good resume will tell your potential employer a bit about yourself, your experience, and your goals--in a well-organized, easy-to-read format. This Playlist will help you figure out what to include...
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Photo Composition: 2-Focal Point

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In art -- written, spoken or drawn -- there's a point, a purpose. In photography, paintings or drawings, this is called the focal point, the center of attention, the "all star" of the team. And it can be located anywhere in your picture. This is where it gets exciting!
 
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Digital Drawing: Part 2

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Welcome to Digital Drawing Level II. In this Playlist, you will be going more in-depth with the skills learned in Digital Drawing Level I. The xp's in this playlist will be shorter, because at this point, you will need to play around with your program and get used to drawing on the computer, with...
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Photo Composition: 1-Space

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Visualization is how we form mental images, how we "see" spatial relationships in stories, photos and art. Learn about how you can manipulate space -- negative/positive; expanding/intimate -- to communicate your message. This Playlist will help you explore visualization and create photos that will...
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Photo Composition: 3-Balance

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In four fun explorations, you'll discover the magic of balance in photography. You'll never take an unbalanced photo again!
 
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The College Essay

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College essays--personal essays to show people your strengths--seem cool in theory. You get to write about why you're special, cool experiences, or things you've learned. Seems like it should be easy. But the reality is that when you sit down and try to write something, sometimes you can't see for...
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Digital Drawing: Part 1

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This Playlist will explore the groundwork for creating compelling digital art. We'll take a look at different approaches, styles, deliveries, as well as software, hardware, and where to go from here! Get yourself acquainted with the world of digital drawing, here.
 
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Water -- The Basics

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Water is something we all use every day. In fact, we can't live without it. For some of us, it is such a vital and ingrained part of our everyday lives that it can be really easy to take for granted. But there is so much more to consider when thinking about water. This XP will cover the basics: how...
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The Power of Sound

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In this Playlist, we'll take the first steps toward using sound in our storytelling. The XPs explore the power that using music and/or voice can have, when utilized in your digital stories. This Playlist is aimed at helping you develop ideas around how and why to use sound. We'll also touch on some...
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English Tenses

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Tense is an important part of your writing because it – like point of view – has a lot of control over the way your audience reads your piece.

English has three basic tenses. This playlist will help you think about which of these you tend to write in and expand your comfort zone beyond...
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Point of View: Intro

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Point of view is an incredibly powerful tone setting tool that you can employ as a writer. It will totally change the feel of your narrator and story, and it has a lot of effect on your reader.

A lot of us have a habitual point of view, and this playlist will not only help you develop...
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Writing Memoir

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Writing memoir can be a puzzle! It's hard to remember who and what you're writing for when you're writing about yourself. It can also be difficult to determine whether you want to write a story because it's a good story, or because you feel a personal connection to it. Both are great...
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Rhetorical Devices

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Rhetorical devices are techniques that everyone uses, whether they realize it or not. They are used with the intention of convincing others to consider a new perspective or opinion.

Often, people use them unconsciously. But speech-writers, creative writers, and speakers use them on...
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Getting into Character

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Have you ever had trouble portraying a character on stage or the page? This playlist is designed to help! Actors and authors will research an established character's motivations, voice, body-language and appearance, and then use all of these elements to assemble a rich, realistic portrayal....
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The Three-Act Structure

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Let's look at the three act structure; for this playlist we'll keep it simple.

The first few XPs will focus on the major plot points of the structure, and how to create an outline based on those plot points. Then you’ll move onto writing the first draft of your story, using your outline...
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Making Personal Writing Relatable

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At some point in your life, you've probably read someone else's personal essay or poem and felt something as a result of reading it. In this playlist, you'll be working on writing a relatable piece inspired by a unique experience you’ve encountered in your life.

First, you’ll think about...
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Writing a Personal Essay

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Personal essays seem pretty cool in theory -- you get to write informally about yourself and why you're special or about the cool experiences you've had. Seems like something we should all love, doesn't it? Seems like it should be easy, right? But the reality is that sitting down and trying...
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Dialogue With Narration

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In a narrative piece of writing, dialogue can play a really big part. Sometimes, the dialogue is what moves the story forward, or gives the reader further insight into a character's mind, or helps the reader visualize a situation. However, writing that dialogue successfully into a narrative...
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Dialogue and Perspective

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One really hard thing about dialogue is writing convincingly in the voice (and from the perspective) of someone different from you. These differences could include gender, race, age, time period, or a variety of other factors. It can be hard to mimic how a person talks, because it may not be...