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Writing Dialogue that Makes Your Characters Real

  • Today we are exploring dialogue. While researching for good advice to include, we came upon this Huffington Post article. For this exercise, we will use that article as a guide.

    From that article:

    Four key qualities of good dialogue are that it: 1) keeps the story or novel going; 2) reveals the characters; 3) is believable; 4) interests the readers.


    please pay attention to that quote and perhaps make a sticky note with those tips and attach it to your writing area.

    Dialogue is something that has messed me up in my writing from time to time. My character, for example, could be a demonic, evil man and I find myself censoring his speech. Example, removing "f-bombs" because I don't use that word and it could offend. However, looking at it realistically, would an evil spawn of the devil say, "Oh hello, would you mind leaving?" or would he instead say, "What the "f" are you doing here!" - I think the latter. (We don't allow the f-bomb to be posted here so it's been changed for site rules)

    What you need to do is really get in character when you are writing the dialogue. Use the tips from that article and act out the scene or at least just read it aloud. Do you find the dialogue believable and does it serve to enhance the character and bring it to life? You really need your dialogue to fill in the character's personality for the reader. They have to connect to these characters and dialogue is a big part of this, IMO.

    Which of these do you find stirs your emotions and gets you involved with the character and whatever may be occuring?

    "Harry, move the car," Stella said.

    "Harry! Oh my God, Harry!," Stella screamed as she came crashing through the door.

    Those are just basic examples but you get the idea. Bring your dialogue to life. Let it convey emotion, personality and feeling so the reader is immersed in the world and characters you are creating.

    As an exercise, do one of these Finish the Story. Put some dialogue in it and let us really get a feel for the characters and what's happening in the story.

    If you would, please use the hashtag #writingdialogue at the end of your post so it's easier for people to find. You can put a link to your post in the comments below this article if you would like.



1 comment
  • Tiffany B likes this
  • Tiffany B Adding dialogue to a story is one of my weaknesses. I can write the story, but now making the characters talk to each other, that's another level of writing. It's also a challenge depending on what point of view you are writing in (eg. first person etc.).