Do you struggle to get dialogue working hard for you in your writing? If so, you’re going to love today’s #MondayMotivation as it looks at ways to write great dialogue!
Dialogue can be tricky to handle, and because of the fear of getting it wrong, I’ve known writers who avoid or limit the use of it in their writing. If this sounds all too familiar and applies to you, then hopefully today’s #MondayMotivation will help you create dynamic dialogue!
Firstly, let’s consider the importance of dialogue, as it serves two main purposes; to reveal character and to further plot or action in your writing. The former can prove the most slippy to handle as characters need to use dialogue which sounds credible and which seems most natural to them. For instance, to have a quiet, reserved character speaking in an exalted extrovert way would simply be out of character and would not appear authentic to the reader (although, it can work as juxtaposition in some cases to create conflict and plot!!!). So, it’s important to know your characters, how they think, their personality type, their background and use speech which shows this best. For example;
‘Bernard, I said No an’ No means No. I won’t be taking part in the show,’
reveals the forthright nature of the speaker, whilst revealing something about them harbouring an ambition to be in a show! As very often interesting dialogue stems from what your character doesn’t say and conflict arises from the opposite of what they say, and we all know out of conflict comes plot!
Secondly, it is important to listen to how people talk around you, next time your in a public space, on a bus, on a train, in a restaurant or a coffee shop, take time to eavesdrop on others conversations. What you will notice is that people rarely talk in linear fashion, through habit, we often finish the other person’s sentence, or we interrupt them and even talk over them on an entirely different subject (we wholeheartedly encourage TSW to try this, as you’ll be surprised at how folks really talk, plus it’s a lot of fun!!!).
‘I forgot to tell you about…’
‘’Yes, I know. Did you see last night’s Strictly Come Dancing? I love the glitter..
‘dresses. The time I was living in Spain and the horse riding event. I won first prize!’
‘Did you really, wow!’
Making dialogue sound and feel genuine isn’t hard to achieve and you can use the conversations around you to help you write better dialogue, just be listening to how people talk in the real world. Dialogue is also a great way to show character, add conflict and develop plot in your writing. Don’t be intimidated to use it more in your writing as the more you include it; the more comfortable you will feel writing good dialogue. We are currently open to submissions on theme of ‘Waiting,’ send any writing to firstname.lastname@example.org