How to Write Dialogue?

How to Write Dialogue?

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”

E. L. Doctorow

Dialogue is an integral part of any narrative. Writers want to make dialogue whether in the story or play sound natural as if the conversation is real. Talk is also used to convey information to the reader in a unique and interesting way. Creating an engaging communication means much more than following one sentence with another.

Definition of Dialogue

Simply speaking, a dialogue is a literary or theatrical form of oral or written communication (replicas, questions, and answers) between two or more people. Using this form of information exchange you can develop the story smoothly. An excellent dialog always conveys information to the reader or viewer. Actually, this is a wonderful tool that allows the author to convey the hero’s traits development or other information about the character that can be unnoticed by people who read the story.

The speech should have a goal. Always ask yourself why you write a particular dialogue. What will it add to the story? What can the reader learn from it? If you do not have an answer to these questions, then you do not need this dialogue.

Dialogue should not be overloaded with facts. By the way, it is a common mistake. You may think that there’s no better way to convey information to the reader than to put it in a dialogue, but be careful! There must be a balance between background information and replicas.

It should resemble a real conversation, so it doesn’t have to be grammatically correct. A conversation between characters tells the reader about their appearance, nationality, and background.

And a few more tips to nail the dialogue. Pay attention to real conversations. Listen to how people talk to each other and use it when writing an indirect dialogue, then it will sound real.

Read interesting narratives that contain dialogues. To develop an ability to craft catchy dialogues, you have to read books and watch movies that have high-quality dialogues. Read, analyze and draw conclusions.

Try to portray your heroes using dialogues. The author has to know the manner of their speech, as well as all distinctiveness of his speech. Age, sex, education, religion, the tone of voice influence character’s speech. It’s obvious that a girl from a small town, lost in Siberia, will not speak the same way as the son of a prominent attache. Try to give each of the characters a unique voice. Every hero should speak differently, using original phrases and words.

How to Write Direct Dialogue?

Speech, also known as a direct dialogue, can be an incredible tool to render information. However, you should avoid writing tedious and long direct dialogues. Of course, they will not “kill” your story, but the reader may get bored. You should use different techniques like nonverbal details to make a dialogue come alive.

– “Hеу, John,” said Rome.

– “Hi,” John answered.

– “Is everything ok?” Rome asked.

– “Yes,” John said.

– “Really? You look very sad.”

This is quite monotonous, right? By adding nonverbal elements in your dialogue, you can express emotion through action. Let’s improve our dialogue a bit:

– “Hеу, John.”

Jong looked down. His eyes stopped at the pile of paper near his feet, and he kicked it.

– “Hi,” he replied.

Rome could tell something went wrong.

Sometimes a little bit of drama can change the situation and your reader will feel the tension.

How to Write Indirect Dialogue?

When writing indirect dialogue, use thinking and flashbacks of previous discussions and don’t put highlights on the speech itself.  Generally, writers mix indirect and direct dialogue to raise the emotional pressure. For instance:

– “Hеу, John.”

Jong looked down. His eyes stopped at the pile of paper near his feet, and he kicked it.

– “Hi,” he replied.

Rome stood up. Something went wrong.

Dialogue Format and Style

To write an impressive dialogue, you should learn formatting and style rules. In most cases, replicas of characters are allocated with quotes. Here are a few common rules for writing dialogue in the text.

Use punctuation marks correctly. Usually, punctuation is put inside the quotation. For instance: “Why are you doing this right now?”

As a rule, each new line of the dialog is put in the quotation marks. This corresponds to the established style and helps the reader to perceive the dialogue easily. For example: “Hеу, John,” said Rome. “Hi,” John answered. “Is everything ok?” Rome asked.

When the speaker changes, the write begins a new paragraph. If the words are interrupted by an action, or you want to add a description, you should continue to write in the same paragraph.

The first word of direct speech should be capitalized.

And the last but not the least — practice makes perfect. Spend some time writing real conversations, and you’ll definitely craft the one that will engage the reader.

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