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Dialogue

Dialogue

Dialogue is a conversation between two or more persons – or a conversation between characters in a novel. Dialogues are useful in any story as they can give voice to your characters – it makes the story advance, it develops characters, it brings dynamics (dialogue increases the story's pace and makes it more dynamic), it provides realism (shows what is happening instead of telling), it defines characters and how those characters relate to one another, by what they say and how they say it. It provides information about the relationship between characters – their personalities, moods, etc.


Dialogue can be difficult to write, however, and many writers create stilted conversations between characters, failing to create sections of dialogue that sound believable.

Creating natural-sounding dialogue provides many benefits when written correctly. You can create a compelling and dramatic opening, vibrant characters, rising tensions, love and passion and a cliff-hanger that will have the reader gripped. But if you write weak dialogue passages you will distract the reader from your novel.


Observation skills.


You can really learn a lot through observation by simply opening your mind to those around you. Listen to people talk – the way they pronounce words, accents and tone. If you really tune into the conversations of those around you, you may be surprised to find just how much mindless chatter goes on all of the time; and this is because people rarely get to the point.

The hardest part of writing dialogue is knowing what information is needed to enable the characters to get the point across. So, start with the bare foundations and build upon them. If you plan your characters correctly and use detailed character profiles, you will have a better idea of how your character should speak and the tone which was used.


Consider the following:


  • Does your character have a loud voice?

  • Is your character softly spoken?

  • Any strong accents?

  • Is your character shy?


Is your character’s voice:


  • Gruff?

  • Soft?

  • Deep?

  • High-pitched?

  • Irritating?




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