How to Write Dialogue

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How to Write Dialogue

Post by Unowen on Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:27 am

Folks, I realized I needed some help, so I went Googling for "how to write dialogue." A lot of great resources came up. This is one of the best:

https://www.novel-writing-help.com/writing-dialogue.html

Doesn't have to be for a novel, will help for short stories too.

Another good one in two parts:

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/keep-it-simple-keys-to-realistic-dialogue-part-i
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/keep-it-simple-keys-to-realistic-dialogue-part-ii

It turns out that the way my high-school English teachers had taught me was, uh, incorrect. Smile

Any others?

Best,
UN
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Unowen

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Re: How to Write Dialogue

Post by soldier-sorcerer on Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:44 pm

Hey, thanks for sharing these! It's always useful to get a refresher on the different ways to think about writing. I'm just going to put some quotes from the first article here because I particularly liked these points:

some “pointless conversation” in a novel is good. After all, you’ve got keep the dialogue authentic – and we all talk about the weather or what we want for dinner

Dialogue is one of the most important tools there is in demonstrating the relationships between different characters. The way two people speak to each other tells you virtually everything there is to know about how they get along.

Don’t Have the Characters All Sound the Same.
Every character in a novel is unique. They all look different. They all think and act in their individual ways. And it should be no different with the way they speak.

Make sure that the words a character says are a natural extension of their personality. Achieve that by stepping into their shoes, so to speak, before you try to put words in their mouth.

I like that last one the most. To me it's the most important consideration when writing dialogue. But I struggle with it since 'getting into character' involves empathy and that's hard to do when I dislike one or more of my own characters. (like Syden's aunt. lol). I think the solution to that problem is to practice being impartial and avoid playing favourites, which I'm still learning to do.
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Re: How to Write Dialogue

Post by Unowen on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:31 pm

Hey, Agatha Christie disliked Hercule Poirot... and C.S. Forester hoped Horatio Hornblower would roast in Hell...

BTW, my next story segment in Watershed (Kate and Donny get their sensie test) will involve more exposition than dialogue. We'll see how that goes.

UN
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Re: How to Write Dialogue

Post by soldier-sorcerer on Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:09 pm

I really need to read some classics. For someone that studied literature in university, I should be ashamed of myself for not having read those books. But it's great to know authors have experienced that challenge and pushed through anyway.

I see. Good luck with it Smile
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