Show cover of The Dialogue Doctor Podcast

The Dialogue Doctor Podcast

Writing great books is critical to generating sales and building a following of readers. On the Dialogue Doctor Podcast, Jeff Elkins and other writers discuss how to write dialogue that will excite readers and help you sell more books.


Episode 111 - Carol Painter and Writing for Emotional Growth
In this episode, Jeff sits down with author Carol Painter to look at a piece she wrote. They talk about writing an emotional journey and ensuring the reader can feel the emotions of each scene. They discuss understanding the conflict and stakes of each scene and then using the emotions of those scene to set up your characters' growth. For more on writing dialogue, check out
72:46 09/26/2022
Episode 110 - David Hayward and Creating Out of Your Authentic Self
In this episode, Jeff sits down with David Hayward. For the last 17 years, David has created art and comics and written books under the moniker of The Naked Pastor. They discuss what it means to create art that pushes back on social norms, how to manage your own mental health under the pressure of criticism, and what it is like to build a successful brand that is authentic to who you are. Plus, Jeff has multiple "fan boy" moment. Find David's work at: Follow him on Twitter at: Or on Instagram at: For more on writing dialogue, go to
60:21 09/19/2022
Episode 109 - Carmen Dillion and World Building with Dialogue
In this episode, Jeff sits down with Carmen Dillion to look at a chapter she wrote. They talk about using dialogue to world build, building a character's voice to empower the character's growth, and taking your characters on different emotional journeys.  For more on Dialogue, go to
73:00 09/12/2022
Episode 108 - Grand Rounds with J Thorn
In this episode, the Great J Thorn joins Jeff to talk about a myriad of topics. J has published two million words and has sold more than 185,000 books worldwide. He hosts the Writers, Ink podcast with J.D. Barker and Zach Bohannon, and The Author Life Podcast with Crys Cain. Most importantly, J encouraged Jeff to launch the Dialogue Doctor and help him through the development process in 2020. Jeff and J talk through a wide variety of topics, including the publishing industry, starting new things, and building community in the industry. For more on J Thorn's work, go to To find Writers Ink, go to To join the Author LIfe Community, go to For more on dialogue, check out
65:11 09/05/2022
Episode 107 - Charmyra Fleming and Zooming into the Scene
In this episode, Jeff looks at a chapter from Charmyra Fleming's current project. Together they talk about finding the beginning and end of segments for prose placement, using conversations for world-building, and zooming into the scene to build reader engagement. You can find Charmyra's website here: home Check out her podcast here: To register for the Masterclass - For more on dialogue, go to
72:51 08/29/2022
Episode 106 - Framing a Story with Matty Dalrymple
In this episode, Matty Dalrymple (author of more than 9 novels and the host of the Indy Author Podcast) joins Jeff to talk about framing a story. They discuss different plotting methods and different ways to think through your story. They talk about framing for plot points, framing for character growth, or framing for the emotional journey. Check out the Indy Author Podcast at For more on dialogue, go to  
57:44 08/22/2022
Episode 105 - Laura Humm and Alicia McCalla on Editing Dialogue
In this episode, Laura Humm and Alicia McCalla edit a piece together. Laura breaks down for Alicia the steps and techniques she uses to edit dialogue. This podcast is a window into the editing process of a talented exceptional editor. For more on dialogue, check out To register for the upcoming master class, go to
74:47 08/15/2022
Episode 104 - Learning from She Who Became the Sun (Book Club)
This week, Jeff and the Dialoggers take a look at She who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan. We talk about the ways the author uses gender, our expectations of the plot, bringing new perspectives to history, and the author's use of dialogue. To buy She Who Became the Sun and find more work by Shelley Parker-Chan, check out To register for the master class, go to For more on dialogue, go to  
80:32 08/08/2022
Episode 103 - Roland Denzel and Using Dialogue in a Scene
Roland and Jeff look at a piece together and discuss getting rid of summaries, building bridges to the reader's imaginations, and the different parts of dialogue. Together they get deep into how to use dialogue to get the results you want out of your writing. To engage with Roland's work, go to For more on dialogue, check out
96:18 08/01/2022
Episode 102 - Jeff and Laura Q&A
In this episode, Jeff and Laura celebrate the Dialogue Doctor's 2-year anniversary with a Q&A. The questions they discuss are below: 1) Introductory nonsense 2:05-8:05 2) What do you wish you would have explained better in the last two years? 8:05 3) How do you plot a novella/novel with the conversations that need to occur per chapter? 18:33 4) How do you set up a cast of characters for conflict and entertaining dialogue? 31:50 5) How do you use the LEGOs to build the protagonist and the related blocks to build the antagonist and supporting characters? 38:35 6) How do you feel about “head hopping” in a book? 45:00 7) How to use the VEAH analysis on a scene from a book or movie? And, can characters change from E to A or H from scene to scene depending on the situation, or is it a character trait? 54:40 8) If a scene necessitates a character being alone, how can you structure the interplay between that one character’s thoughts, emotion, body language, and interaction with the setting to create the illusion of dialogue? 58:25 9) It seems so much easier to do this on film, what are tips for getting this kind of nonverbal info into a scene without clogging it up or bogging it down? 1:00:51 10) Will I be creating difficulty for the reader by changing the voice of supporting characters throughout the story? 1:12:25 11) How to express dialect without looking stupid? 1:18:17 12) How can you convey an unreliable POV character in dialogue? 1:22:52 13) What are you excited about exploring more in year 3? 1:28:50 For more on dialogue, come over to
96:16 07/25/2022
Episode 101 - Dillon Mesquitta and Removing Reader Burden
In this episode, Jeff and author Dillon Mesquitta talk about removing burdens from the reader. After discussing the great things Dillon is doing with his dialogue, he and Jeff talk about making character interactions clear, using descriptions to show emotional context, and making sure names aren't confusing. For more on writing dialogue, check out
76:09 07/18/2022
Episode 100 - Claire Taylor and Enneagram for Writers
In this Grand Rounds episode, Jeff interviews Claire Taylor from FFS media about the enneagram. They discuss their experience with the personality typing system, how writers can use the enneagram to create diverse casts, how writers can build character voices from the enneagram, and Claire's new Kickstarter project. To find more about Claire's services, go to To join Claire's Kickstarter, go to For more on writing dialogue, go to
71:35 07/11/2022
Episode 99 - V.E. (Aaron) Griffith and the Details in the Dialogue
In this episode, Jeff and Aaron get nitty-gritty about how dialogue works on the page. They talk about keeping a lone wolf talking, using text messages as a device in the narrative, picking settings to write, organizing descriptions, talking to rats (having conversations with things you notice in the text), making sure the dots are connected in the text, the importance of the back-and-forth, and lots more. For more on dialogue, check out  
58:11 07/04/2022
Episode 98 - Three Story Method Editors on World-Building
In this episode, Jeff sits down with Three Story Method Editors JP Rindfleisch, Miss Catherine Hernadez, and V.E. (Aaron) Griffith to talk about world-building. They discuss what makes a good world, what frustrates them about world-building, and they give practical tips for getting it done in your novel. We also discover that Jeff has no idea how to world-build and avoids it at all cost. JP's editing services at Miss Catherine's services at V.E. Griffith's services at For more on dialogue, check out
73:20 06/27/2022
Episode 97 - Cast Building with SW Millar
Shane (SW) Millar returns to the podcast to do a cast-building session with Jeff. After reading a chapter by Share, Jeff realized Shane wasn't connecting with one of his characters. Jeff and Shane break down the cast to try and discover who the character needs to be. They discuss how understanding your characters will make your plot come together without any thought. They also discuss Shane's new book, How to Write Brillant Beginnings. It's an amazing book every writer should have. Get your copy here:
86:31 06/20/2022
Episode 96 - Grand Rounds with Sean Paul Murphy
Sean Paul Murphy joins Jeff to talk about the difference between writing screenplays and writing novels. Bringing a perspective from traditional publishing and movie production, Sean talks about how he got screenplays produced, the difference between novels and screenplays, the importance of character, and how to create an emotional read. Sean Paul Murphy's Blog: Sean Paul Murphy's Podcast: For more on writing dialogue, check out
87:30 06/13/2022
Episode 95 - Maggie Menane and Writing Emotional Transitions
In this episode, Jeff sits down with author Maggie Menane to go through a piece she wrote. They talk about writing comedy, emotional transitions, creating different voices, making summaries into scenes, how to use inner monologue, and kicking off a sequel. To learn more about writing dialogue, head over to
63:30 06/06/2022
Episode 94 - 7 Laws of Writing and Emotional Journey
In this solo episode, Jeff uses seven laws of physics to talk about storytelling. Loosely using the laws of physics for inspiration, Jeff breaks down why and how writers should take their readers on an emotional journey.  For more on dialogue, check out
52:29 05/30/2022
Episode 93 - Laura Humm and Susan Campbell Talk about Details in the Dialogue
In this episode, Dialogue Doctor Coach Laura Humm sits down with author Susan Campbell to work through a piece Susan wrote. They discuss getting details into the dialogue. They look at how moving world-building details into dialogue makes the information more engaging. They talk about putting backstory into dialogue to increase connection with characters. They examine how putting details into dialogue allows you to increase the emotional expression of the reader. For more on dialogue, check out
62:12 05/23/2022
Episode 92 - Emotional Tone with Miss Catherine Hernandez
In this episode, Jeff is joined by Three Story Method Editor Catherine Hernandez to talk about taking your reader on an emotional journey. They work to define the phrase "emotional tone," they talk about how the character's emotional journey connects to the reader's emotional journey, and they give tips and tricks for writing and editing a character's emotional journey. To learn more about Catherine's work or to hire her as an editor, check out her website: To learn more about writing dialogue, go to
56:17 05/16/2022
Episode 91 - Eric Heuser and Dialogue in Action Scenes
In this episode, Eric Heuser returns to look at another piece with Jeff. Eric also appeared in episodes 35, 65, and 82. Together they look at using dialogue in action scenes, transitioning from one setting to the next, and maintaining urgency throughout the piece. For more on dialogue, head over to
49:40 05/09/2022
Episode 90 - Jeff and Laura Q&A
In this episode, Jeff and Laura tackle several questions together that all revolve around writing and understanding character voice. Topics in this episode include: 1) Jeff rambling about his upcoming novel - 3:00 minute mark 2) What is happening in the community this week? - 5:00 minute mark 3) If you were a cake, what kind of cake would you be and why? - 8:00 minutes mark 4) What are you currently working on outside of the day job? 12:30 minute mark 5) What is something you recently learned? - 17:55 minute mark 6) An aside about Canada - 25:20 minute mark 7) What's the best thing you've read/watched recently? - 26:50 minute mark 8) Memorable character voices you've encountered in entertainment - TV, Movies, of Books? - 33:45 minute mark 9) Memorable "character" voices you've encountered in real life that would work in a book? - 49:20 minute mark 10) What part of next weekend do you think is going to be the most helpful for people who attend? - 1:04:10 minute mark For more on dialogue -
71:00 05/02/2022
Episode 89 - Laura Humm and Lisa Young Talk about Pacing
In this episode, Laura and Lisa looked at a scene from Lisa's current science fiction novel. Among other things, they discuss pacing a scene so the reader can experience the emotional flow, limiting the number of characters to allow the reader to focus on plot movements, and getting the reader to the most important aspects of the scene as possible. For more on dialogue, check out
86:19 04/25/2022
Episode 88 - SW Millar Returns to Talk Writing Lone Wolves
In this episode, SW Milar returns to the podcast. He and Jeff look at a piece together and talk about removing the burden from the reader, talking to inanimate objects, bringing back repeated conversations to show character growth, and placing prose between segments. For more on dialogue, check out To find more of SW Milar's work, go to To listen to other episodes with SW Milar, check out episodes 58 and 71.
62:18 04/18/2022
Episode 87 - Jeff Answers Questions from the Dialoggers
In the first solo episode of 2022, Jeff answers questions posed by the Dialogue Doctor Community - the Dialoggers. The topics covered include: defining what dialogue is, using body language in dialogue, suggestions on using inner thoughts, what to do when your character is alone, and how to redeem unlikable characters. For more on dialogue, go to
49:48 04/11/2022
Episode 86 - Jeff Elkins and Angela Haas Talk Inner Thoughts
In this episode, Jeff sits down with writer Angela Haas to look over a space opera scene Angela has written. They discuss lining your character's voice up with their personality, including inner thoughts as part of your character's voice, contrasting characters to increase the intensity of the scene, and when to modulate a character's voice. For more on dialogue, check out
62:59 04/04/2022
Episode 85 - The Network Effect by Martha Wells
In this episode, Jeff and Laura and joined by Dialoggers to discuss The Network Effect by Martha Wells. They talk about writing amazing character voices in science fiction, putting in backstory and info-dumping, using unique point-of-views, writing in a way that sucks the reader into a character voice, and using punctuation tools to make a narrative voice come to life. To learn more about dialogue and join the Dialogue Doctor community, come to
43:22 03/28/2022
Episode 84 - Laura Humm and Faye Whyte and Engaging the Reader in Character Voices
In this episode, Dialogue Doctor Book Coach Laura Humm sits with Dialogger Faye Whyte to review two scenes Faye has written. This session is jam-packed with incredible tips for writing. During the discussion, they cover creating a natural feeling back-and-forth for the reader, incorporating world-building into the dialogue, writing children's voice, and a tone more. For more on dialogue, come and join us at
85:28 03/21/2022
Episode 83 - Understanding a Character's Wants and Needs
In this episode, Jeff is joined by 6 Three Story Method Editors to discuss writing the wants and needs of characters. The group defines wants and needs, talks about how the needs connect to the internal wound, discuss how to show characters maturing in their needs, and debate if needs can change in the middle of a story. Here are links to the editors who were on the call: V.E. Griffith - Catherine Hernandez - Valerie Ihsan - Adam Roberson - Cathy Peper - Christine Daigle - For more on dialogue, check out:
74:44 03/14/2022
Episode 82 - Jeff and Eric Heuser Setting a Scene and Emotional Flow
In this episode, Jeff and Eric look at two scenes together. They start with an interrogation scene that transitions into a fantasy world. They discuss how to launch a scene by giving the reader a visual of the scene to kick off their imagination, using body language to communicate emotion, leading emotional change with your vehicle character, maintaining the back and forth between characters while working emotional changes, and wrapping up an action scene. For more on dialogue, check out
69:19 03/07/2022