The Art of Dialogue
Well written dialogue will move your story forwards, allow the reader to really get to know the characters and allow you, the writer to show instead of telling. It also makes for a more attractive page within a book, one which isn’t a solid block of text and therefore more appealing to the reader.
How to ensure your dialogue works hard in your story:
- There is no need to include all the normal everyday parts of dialogue. Take your reader straight to what matters and leave out things like hello or goodbye. You also don’t need every ‘umm’ to make the conversation sound realistic.
- Use dialogue to show your character. Every time your character says something the words they chose and the way in which they speak will bring life to your character and enable the reader to get to know them.
- The use of dialogue tags, like he or she said, isn’t always necessary, but ensure it’s clear just who is talking. There is nothing worse than having to scan back up a page to work out just who is talking.
- Take care when you have more than two characters involved in a conversation. Use some dialogue tags and you do not always have to ensure each character takes their turn.
- Use your scene. Build in what’s happening around the characters and what actions they make as they talk. Make it a living breathing discussion instead of constant to and fro. When you want what is said to really stand out and make an impact use only the words the character said.
- Different characters will use different words. An old lady would not sound the same as a teenage girl. Think about your characters and how they would speak. Make each one unique and recognisable to the reader.
- Ensure your dialogue moves the story forward. It should reveal your character, show their emotion to the reader so chose your words carefully. Make each one count.
- Don’t allow a character to use long rambling speeches. Break their dialogue up with internal thoughts or actions going on around them or another character’s dialogue.
- Finally, read your dialogue out loud. Did it sound natural and flowing to read out? If not, think of how it can be changed, then read it again.
I love escaping to distant shores with my characters, entering their glamorous world and feeling all the emotions they experience as they discover their love for one another. A love so strong it will overcome all obstacles eventually, leading to that promised happy ever after.
Connect with Rachael Thomas on the web:
TO BLACKMAIL A DI SIONE
"When you've finished making offers for the bracelet, I have a proposition for you."
Billionaire Liev Dragunov has spent a lifetime plotting revenge against those responsible for his family's ruin. Finally he has the way: Bianca Di Sione.
She's denied their obvious attraction and coolly rebuffs every request to work for him—until he finds her weakness: a diamond bracelet she desperately needs!
Bianca must become his fake fiancée if she wants her trinket! But the taste of revenge isn't as sweet as desire, and Liev discovers that she is innocent in more ways than one…
Book 3 of The Billionaire's Legacy
Thanks Rachael! I love both reading and writing dialogue and these are excellent tips!
How about you? Are you a fan of writing dialogue? Do you read aloud and does your family think you're nuts (or is that just me???)?