Natural Speech: The Art of Writing Dialogue


When writing stories or plays, writers are often stuck at how to show their characters interacting and speaking to each other in a way that the plot moves forward and the speech does not sound forced and artificial. In Natural Speech: The Art of Writing Dialogue, you will gain valuable, and practical, tips on how to craft naturalistic sounding dialogue that propels your story forward.

Areas Covered

Session #1: Crafting
• Exercises on crafting natural dialogue
• Crafting your own text

Session #2: Polishing
• Review of the story that you have crafted
• Tips on how to polish the story

Pre-Workshop Preparation

For Participants

Please bring pen/pencil and paper or laptop/laptop for the writing exercises.

For Organisers

Please provide:

  • a quiet, fair-sized room that allows all participants to sit (with writing surfaces), preferably in a large circle or U-shape formation
  • pens/pencils & paper for participants (if they require)
  • a large whiteboard/flipchart and pens
  • copies of handouts that will be emailed prior to the workshop .


What aspects of this workshop benefitted you most?

“Exercises, homework.”

 Stephanie Stella

“Turning simple, everyday speech into colourful and exciting dialogue that entertains and edifies the audience with the macro intent I wish to explore. The idea that playwriting is really shaping the mind of the audience… You already have limits.”

 Timothy Chow

“Interactive & participatory & discursive. Fun & inspiring.”

 Wong Kwei Ming

About the Facilitator

A Singaporean writer, editor, storyteller and theatre practitioner, Verena Tay has published a short story collection, Spectre: Stories from Dark to Light (2012), and three play collections, and edited various fiction anthologies, including the bestselling Balik Kampung series of short stories published by Math Paper Press. She possesses three Masters: English Literature (National University of Singapore, 1993); Voice Studies (Central School of Speech and Drama, London, 2005); and Creative Writing (City University of Hong Kong, 2015). Since 2005, she has been helping people to improve their communication skills and has taught voice, speech and presentation skills, storytelling and creative writing.