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Tips to writing dialogue in your story

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

If you are writing a book whether fiction or nonfiction you may want to include some dialogue in the story. This helps to develop the character or the setting. It can also add some dimension to the scene. Below are some tips to help you in writing dialogue in your story. A key point to note is the dialogue doesn't have to be grammatically correct as it should sound natural to the character speaking. Just be conscious of make the dialogue readable. 1. Take out any small talk Real-life conversation contains a lot of polite filler, a lot of false starts, a lot of repetition. If you include all of this in your written dialogue, it can get boring. Instead, you can include just enough to give the flavor of real life, then cut the rest. 2. Each character should have their own unique voice Try to hear their voices in your head as you're writing what they say. Each character has a specific “flow” to their sentences and they all have favorite words they prefer to use. Does your character speak in short, chopped sentences? Or do they describe in great detail their point of view in long-winded, crafted sentences that ebb and flow with their tone of voice? Your readers should be able to tell the difference between characters based on their sentences and diction. 3. Don't pile on distracting dialogue tags.

Dialogue tags other than "said" are best used sparingly, if at all. Sometimes you may use them to express a certain emotion. For example:

"But I don't want to go to sleep yet," he whined.

Instead of telling the reader that the boy whined, describe the scene in a way that conjures the image of a whining little boy:

He stood in the doorway with his hands balled into little fists at his sides. His red, tear-rimmed eyes glared up at his mother. "But I don't want to go to sleep yet."

4. Say your dialogue out loud One of the easiest and best ways to see if your dialogue sounds realistic is to read it out loud, especially if you are writing a genre that would benefit from such an approach. Hearing what someone is supposed to say will allow you to determine if it sounds real or fake. Ask these questions when reading your dialogue out loud to yourself:

  • Would someone actually say this in real life?

  • Does it move the plot forward or develop a character?

  • It is easy to read or do you trip over the sentence?

5. The best dialogue is brief When it comes to writing dialogue in your book, you have to keep it brief and impactful. A great way to get to the heart of the dialogue is to cut out everything that doesn’t immediately impact the scene. Anything that does not further develop your character, the plot, or any subplots should be cut.

6. Mix dialogue and summary

Rarely do people speak for a very long time uninterrupted. It might be important for your character to say something lengthy but remember to at least split it up with body language and other means of giving your reader a break.

You can mix a few lines of dialogue into a dialogue summary to give readers the flavor of your character's voice. "'Been working on my swing,' John said, launching into an hour-long discourse on his golf technique."

With practice, we can write dialogue that is creative and compelling. Happy Writing!

From IABX ***Source Internet

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