Dialogue in the Style of Agatha Christie

Stories & Soliloquies

A few weeks back, I read Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None for a book club I attend via Skype. One thing that really stood out to me in our discussion was the odd nature of Christie’s dialogue cues. Over and over, whenever a character spoke, it was introduced by a clear identification of the person about to speak, and a clear description of how they were about to speak, followed by a colon:

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I hardly noticed it at all while I was reading (I read the entire book in a single day so I could attend book club without spoiling the ending for myself), but when another member brought it up it became glaringly obvious how heavily Christie used this technique. A technique that would never make it past an agent, much less an editor, nowadays. It goes against every piece of advice on writing dialogue I’ve ever…

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~ by Sable Aradia on December 8, 2014.

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