Dialogue is an integral part of any story, novel, script or play. With some exceptions, the dialogue in which we believe is considered as a good one. When characters react as we would react, the story seems natural.
However, an element of surprise makes dialogues exciting and adds some degree of intrigue to the narrative. A competent balance between predictability and unpredictability is what authors strive for and what can make bad dialogue good.
Writing lively dialogue is a complex task. Many authors start working on dialogues at the very end when the story is almost finished. Well, some make dialogues in parallel with the construction of the plot. However, both categories several times rewrite dialogues to bring them to perfection.
So, how not to lay an egg when writing dialogues for a story? Lucy Adams, a blogger and essay writer, will give you a few essential tips.
#1 Dialogue in a Novel must be Different from the One in Life
Yes, dialogue should look real, just like in life, but at the same time, it should be deprived of many moments that happen in real life.
For example, in real life, people often get confused with what they say. You can use some unnecessary words and even sentences in your narrative too, but only if it makes sense. In life, conversations can be meaningless, while in a book, every word should have a certain value.
#2 Reveal the Nature of Characters
A character can show his nature either through actions or dialogues. Remember that the reader knows nothing about your characters, and via the dialogue, you should reveal what they think. Even if a character is lying, you can make readers understand it or hide it until the time when the truth will come out.
Every person has a personal way of talking. Everyone uses certain words, strange expression, metaphors or says everything like it is. So think carefully about what you want to tell to the reader.
#3 Make Dialogues Simple
Of course, everyone loves confusing dialogues in Tarantino movies, but if you watch any of them, you'll see that all characters speak in a rather simple way. Tarantino works with the audience so skillfully that it does not even understand how simple the dialogue is because these simple words contain a lot of sense.
That’s why you have to write understandable dialogues while having a double bottom.
#4 Remember About the Context
The best masters of dialogue have learned one of the main rules — characters should not say what they think. Or say it indirectly. That is, there is nothing worse than direct answers to the question, followed one by one. Of course, if it’s Hodor, it will be difficult to come up with double meaning, but at least try to leave some intrigue and space for reflections. Make your characters play a subtle psychological game.
#5 Read the Dialogue Aloud
You will be surprised how different the dialogue is on the paper and when it sounds. It can look perfect, original and lively, but only until you read it aloud. The trick is that you may love the dialogue just because you’ve put a lot of efforts in it.
Read the dialogues aloud and make necessary corrections. Perhaps, you will remove and replace some words with more accurate synonyms.
#6 Use All the Reader’s Senses
In the scene with dialogue, you can pay attention to subjects and objects, and insert phrases that will turn on imaginative and creative thinking. Describe the taste or smell, the touching or physical pain.
Activate as many senses as you can and try to balance them.
#7 Characters Should Use the Space of the Scene
The reader will have a very unpleasant feeling if you don’t use the description scene. When your characters are in a dark room – the dialogue and interaction will be different from when they are in an abandoned building or pool. Are your characters hungry or thirsty? Think about their states – it affects their phrases and manners of behavior. Let the characters comment on what is happening in the location, not just talking quietly so that nothing will change if to move them to another place.
Writing dialogues seems to be one of the most interesting processes in working on a book. Indeed, the dialogues delight, make laugh, surprise, and call to sympathy. However, when an inexperienced person gets to write dialogue, characters refuse to talk.
Learn your characters thoroughly, live their lives, and then, at some point, they will start talking, and you will have only to choose the phrases you need for specific tasks.
I wish you best of luck in your writing endeavors.
Lucy Adams is one of the professional academic writers. She’s a generalist able to bring to life almost any topic. Lucy is found of literature, writing, and education. Feel free to share your craziest ideas with this diligent author, and you’ll get a chance to add some unique and high-quality posts to your blog.