Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Writing Tip Tuesday

Good dialogue.

You need it.

Mastering good dialogue involves having a good ear and a good voice. But there are a few simple tips that will contribute to writing good dialogue.

  • Good dialogue shows.
  • Good dialogue includes beats.
  • Good dialogue uses speaker tags effectively.
  • Good dialogue helps move the story forward.
Good dialogue shows.
It shows emotions. Let the words that are spoken show the character's feelings.


She was puzzled.
"Huh?" she said. "I don't get it."

Good dialogue shows personality traits.

She was such a bossy girl.
"I'm the only one who makes up the rules to this game and only me. You got it?"

Dialogue can (and should) be used to show a whole host of story elements - setting, weather, motivation, backstory, relationships to other characters, etc.

When you're tempted to write narrative - to tell the reader some backstory, to tell the reader where the characters are, to tell the reader how the character feels about another character,


Try dialogue instead.

Next week: more dialogue

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