Dialogue For Your Eyes

by  Author Marty Chan

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Kids love to make their characters talk, but often their dialogue is a series of unpunctuated sentences crammed into a rats’ nest of a paragraph. Marty Chan shares a way to help kids understand why and how to untangle their rats’ nest of dialogue. He reveals how to incorporate narrative action and descriptive details to flesh out the conversation.


In this session, Marty will discuss the different ways to make characters sound distinct from one another. He describes how slang, euphemisms, regionalisms, and status can help to shape the characters’ voices. Participants will have a chance to try some of these tips out in the session and get feedback from Marty.

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About This Program


By Request: $250.00
By Request Premium: $200.00


60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Homeschool/Family

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Language Arts/English, Writing

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, etc...)
Google Hang Out
Microsoft Teams

Booking Information

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

There is no fee to reschedule a workshop, but a cancellation within 24 hours of the session will incur a $50 fee.

About This Provider

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Author Marty Chan

Edmonton, Alberta

Marty is an author and playwright. He’s written over 20 books for kids and nearly 100 plays for adults. He specializes in writing hi-lo fiction to encourage striving readers to pick up books. The Junior Library Guild awarded the gold medal standard to two of his novels: Haunted Hospital and Willpower. One of his early books, The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul, won the 2007 Diamond Willow Young Readers’ Choice Award. 


Looking for a dynamic workshop on how to write scary stories? An engaging storytelling session to introduce young students to folktales and story structure? An inspiring book talk to get your reluctant readers excited to visit the library? Marty has a variety of sessions that cover Kindergarten to high school. He also provides professional development sessions for teachers who need extra help getting their students excited about creative writing.


From his virtual studio in Alberta, Canada, Marty delivers interactive writing workshops and author visits with a cutting-edge blend of special effects, humor, audience participation, writing games, and storytelling. Kids won’t be able to look away when Marty turns his pen into a lightsaber to illustrate how specifics matter. Younger students will be amazed at the behind-the-scenes look at how Marty’s picture book about his cats came together. Kids will scream their guesses at the screen as they play his version of ‘I Spy’ and learn the value of sensory details. He offers programs to schools, homeschool students, and the general public. 


Since 2020, Marty has performed over 1,000 virtual sessions across North America. He can connect with classes and students via Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams or YouTube Live. 

Marty Chan
(780) 975-9292

Program Details


1. Program begins with a tour of the writer's workspace.
2. Marty introduces his approach to writing using real life as a starting point.
3. Warmup exercise.
4. Marty explains the basics of punctuating dialogue and shows why it matters.
5. Marty explains how point of view and status can influence how a person speaks.
6. Marty discusses slang, euphemisms, jargon and regionalisms as fodder to make characters sound different.
7. Writing exercise. Students will have a chance to share their work.
8. Program ends with questions and answers.


Participants will:

- Develop a stronger understanding of how dialogue works in fiction.
- Compare and contrast different types of phrases (i.e. jargon, slang, euphemisms).
- Apply an understanding of dialogue to create plausible dialogue for different characters.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Please email Marty for details on standards.