Use These Convenient Methods in Writing Dialogues for Fiction

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April 7, 2016

Refine Your Skills in Writing Creative Dialogues

Writing dialogues may seem like a straightforward task for writers, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s easy! Writing dialogues requires much study and effort on the author’s part.

Most writers have different methods on how to write a conversation for novels, short stories, or fiction in general. Although authors are exposed to writing dialogue every single day of their lives, they may not be able to write captivating conversations at an instant. This is where we come in with a convenient guide on how to write a dialogue.

writing a dialogue
Image Source: Geograph UK

1. Eavesdropping

Listening in on people’s conversations doesn’t mean you’re being nosy. It’s easy to eavesdrop on people to know how they talk or converse with others, so that you may use such dialogue to improve your writing. You’ll learn how individuals talk to each other, more than you could ever know by talking to others yourself.

2. Taking out the dull parts

Of course, learning from how people converse doesn’t mean you have to include what isn’t necessary, especially when answering the question “what is a dialogue?” Retain only what is useful to the conversation, especially when it involves the overall plot, or if it’s part of an exposition that readers need to know. No need to put in irrelevant digressions or remarks and side comments from characters. While they may spice up the dialogue, using them too much can be jarring.

 

3. Break it up with action

You’d want to get your readers engaged. You also want to treat your characters like physical human beings who’d interact with the world around them. They shouldn’t just be standing there and talking. It’s best if you insert various actions that they’d be doing while they’re conversing. After all, anyone would find it grating to just be yapping about without any gestures or movements.

4. Use slangs sparingly

Although you may think people know every word in pop culture, you’d be surprised how few can actually catch on. Slangs may also pull your reader away from the fictional world you’re trying to create. If you are going to use slangs, you’d have to make sure they’re appropriate for your setting. Additionally, in writing dialogue, grammar is still far more important than slangs and jargons.

5. Punctuate correctly

Although more on the technical side of things, writing dialogue punctuation is, of course, vital to writing dialogue. Quotation marks, commas, and em dashes are what you need to look into, especially when you’re trying to convey a consistent message through the characters you’ve created.

6. Keep a worksheet

Keeping a writing dialogue worksheet will help you keep track of your progress, as well as things you need to consider. Worksheets can be useful, especially when you’re writing novel dialogue, as full-length novels are much more intricate than shorter forms of fiction.

how to write a conversation
Image Source: Pixabay

Dialogue between different characters may be profound or mundane, but the importance of conversation will always hold true when telling a story that involves individuals caught up in different situations.

You can utilize how people chat and interact with each other through writing dialogue that your readers will enjoy. With the tips for writing dialogue above to guide you and writing dialogue exercises which you can do, you’ll further refine the way you write your characters’ dialogue in numerous ways.