Episode 6: How Can You Have True Dialogue in Memoir and Nonfiction

In which Jane and Robynne dive into a controversial topic: How can you have true dialogue in Memoir and Nonfiction? With examples such as memoirist Susy Flory in hand, they traverse the ins and outs of how to have dialogue as true as possible, and where the grey areas lie. A brilliant quote from author Jan Kern helps make the case for both using dialogue in the first place, and how important this fiction technique is when writing memoir or personal narrative. She says: “Narrative nonfiction should be written so the story-telling is so compelling it reads like well-written fiction.” Brilliant, huh? And to do that, we need to use the whole gamut of fiction techniques, including dialogue, as we craft our creative nonfiction. The rub, however, is that we need our dialogue to be as accurate as humanly possible when we’re writing something we’re calling “true.” We revisit the example of Kate Flanders’ book “The Year of Less” to underpin this point. Gone in large part are the days of dry “how-to’s,” my friend. Creative Nonfiction, awash with fiction techniques like Dialogue, are the wave of the future.