D is for Dialogue

Standard
dialogue

A dialogue is a conversation between two or more people. Dialogue is a crucial element of writing, in that it serves many functions:

  • It helps the story progress, or changes its direction.
  • It offers backstory.
  • It reveals character.
  • It can add humor, or pathos.

It can also be very tricky to write. When I show my children a story I’ve written, their most common comment is “Why do all your characters sound like you?”

Ideally, your characters should sound distinct from one another.

In an attempt to make my characters’ voices unique, I’ve given one a lisp. I’ve given another a catch phrase, what the heck.

I definitely do not have this whole dialogue thing down yet.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to rely on my lack of expertise, because the internet has a wealth of resources about writing dialogue. Here are some of the best articles I’ve found:

Now it’s your turn. What’s the best advice you know for writing great dialogue? Who’s an author whose dialogue you particularly admire? Please share in the comments below.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

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