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Writing 101: Let’s Talk Dialogue

Working on my dialog was my Nanowrimo 2015 focus, beyond writing the 50k words of course. I applaud every author that can manage dialog. After a while I start going a little crazy because how many times had I used the word “said”.  address “said” fatigue among other important dialog points in her article on Inks And Quills. What are your strategies for dealing with dialog?

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Writing 101: Let’s Talk Dialogue

Dialogue is a tricky little beast when you’re a new writer. From punctuation to making it sound realistic, there’s a lot that can go wrong. When done well, dialogue can be a true delight for the reader and make a story shine. But mess it up and, well…it can really put a damper on things.

Today, we’re going to look at some dialogue basics to get you started off on the right track. If you’re confused about punctuation, speech tags, or the difference between spoken and written dialogue fear not–keep reading and we’ll tackle them together!

Behind on the Writing 101 series? Click to catch up! Part 1 (The Fundamentals of Story), Part 2 (Writing Term Glossary), Part 3 (Creating a Successful Hero & Villain), and Part 4 (Unraveling Tension, Conflict, and Your Plot).

What is Dialogue?

Dialogue is the spoken words between two or more characters, which is signaled with quotation ” ” marks. Most of your story will consist of dialogue. Dialogue not only moves your story along, but it also helps reveal who your characters are.

However, dialogue in fiction is not the same as dialogue in real life. When we write dialogue for a story we are actually creating an artistic imitation of real speech.

Why? Because no one would want to read real-life dialogue. In real speech, people stammer, um and uh, talk over and interrupt each other, get distracted, forget what they were going to say, bring up random stuff, chit chat about the weather… Trust me, no one wants to read that! It would be a mess.

To really see the difference between real and written dialogue, take a look at this piece of dialogue I’ve transcribed from an interview with Doctor Who actor David Tennant:

Read the full post on Inks And Quills

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