See you next time

“Phew! What a big lesson!”

“I know, right? Who would have thought speech and dialogue could be so complicated?”

“Hopefully it was worth it!”

“I hope so too. See ya!”


All I heard was Blah Blah Blah

Next time you're reading a good book, pay attention to speech.

Choose a small section and study exactly how the writer uses dialogue or reported speech, mixes action, creates voice and communicates emotion.

You'll discover a lot going on that you wouldn't otherwise notice.

Eavesdrop on someone else's conversation and take notes. Don't worry about whether or not the conversation is interesting, just write down what you hear, then put the notes away.

Come back a couple of days later and read the notes: you'll probably be amazed at how strange ordinary conversation is. It's often boring and fascinating at the same time, and nothing like the way people speak in books and TV shows.

Where did the snippets come from?

Cover of Mango Delight

We used a lot of extracts from Mango Delight, by Fracaswell Hyman, which is about a middle-school girl who falls out with her BFF, and gets into a new friendship that is not nearly as good.

Cover of All American Boys

At the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendon Kiely, is a novel about two American teenage boys—one black, one white—who get caught on opposite sides of police brutality.

Cover of The Suburb Beyond the Stars

The Suburb Beyond the Stars is part of a strange-cool-weird adventure series called The Norumbegan Quartet, by M.T. Anderson. It's about a couple of friends who become critical players in a gigantic conspiracy/war/game between two ancient alien civilisations.

Where did the inspiration images come from?

A painting from Erasmus Brosdau, of two women in a dark snowy field, surrounded by wolves, with one woman injuredThe main inspiration image comes from Erasmus Brosdau, a German sci-fi artist who's worked on Metal Gear Solid.

Picture of a sunny deserted cove with two people and a shipwreck in the waterThe checkpoint inspiration image comes from Sylvain Sarrailh, a game artist who does beautiful, chewy, colourful environments.

Painting of a small child and a giant tiger creeping through a dark cave or forest togetherWhen we were writing the first example, about the clever Gobgap, we were looking at this image from a Thai character designer called Gop Gap (we liked the name, so we tweaked it for the main character). Gop Gap does these great storybook style images that have lots of texture and colour.

Two teenage friends riding around in a grocery store trolleyAnd for the examples about Carmen and Eliza and their friends, we were looking at this photo, but we're not sure where it came from.

That's it for this lesson. It's been a big one! 

See you next time.