Compass Points: Creating Meaningful Dialogue

Compass Points: Creating Meaningful Dialogue

The essential guide to sharpening dialogue.


Poor dialogue is one of the main reasons for a publisher’s reader glazing over when reading a first-time novel, where the author has seen fit to include every superfluous utterance of every-day speech. The purpose of dialogue is to move the story along and to give added dimension to the characters through what they say, and often think. Creating Meaningful Dialogue helps to get rid of the dross from your typescript and retain the gold in the story. Try to incorporate the exercises given at the end of each chapter into your own writing where appropriate and see how it improves the flow of the dialogue by making the characters come alive. With added input from publishers and publisher’s readers, this book is invaluable for all would-be novelists and fiction writers.


"Creating Meaningful Dialogue explores in depth every facet of this often-neglected aspect of fiction and non-fiction writing. Suzanne Ruthven leaves no stone unturned, and one only has to see the Contents page to realise how thorough this exploration is. The premise of 'getting rid of the dross from your typescript and retain the gold in the story,' is delivered in a very readable style, from someone who knows what they're talking about. From dialogue that deliberately misleads, to causing confusion, and on into the detail of 'softeners' and 'hedges,' this is a remarkable achievement, to be read and re-read to avoid giving agents and editors the excuse to say 'no.' Buy it!" ~ Sally Spedding, Amazon

Suzanne Ruthven
Suzanne Ruthven Mélusine Draco’s highly individualistic teaching methods and writing draw on historical sources supported by academic texts and current a...

Write a Western in 30 Days

with plenty of bullet-points!

Nik Morton

Be a Travel Writer, Live your Dreams, Sell your Features

Travel Writing Step by Step

Solange Hando

Bringing the Soul Back Home

Writing in the New Consciousness

Katya Williamson

How To Write a Romance Novel

A beginner's guide to getting it written and getting it published

Susan Palmquist

Compass Points - A Practical Guide to Poetry Forms

How to find the perfect form for your poem

Alison Chisholm

So You Want To Be A Freelance Writer?

Writing for magazines, newspapers and beyond.

Deborah Durbin


A writer’s guide to creating compelling fictional characters with the signs of zodiac

Judy Hall