Want to Become a Skilled Writer? Learn How to Write Dialogues!

How to write dialogues that would grab the readers` attention?

Why a dialogue in a novel is important?

Writing dialogues is an art that includes a lot of important aspects to consider. If you want to master this art, you need to study some great tips and secrets that will help you create dialogues that would engage and entertain your reader. All people like to read dialogues because they help get the necessary information skipping the long boring descriptions.

It is difficult to imagine the prose without dialogues. They help both the authors and the readers reach some important insights. Therefore, the writers, who want to succeed with their books should know how to write dialogues and how to include them in their papers. A book dialogue is not just like the conversation between two or more people in real life. Character conversations make long descriptions more interesting, and what is more important, they convey information to readers in a bright and attractive form. If you want to learn how to write incredible dialogues, you should study the conversational patterns of other people, notice the original moments, and borrow their communication techniques into your own writing style. Many writers prefer to listen to their friends or close people, but we assure you that you can also listen to the characters from the movies or read the dialogues written by other fiction writers. Actually, the well-written dialogues can be found in hundreds of novels, plays, or film scripts. If you want to enhance your writing skills and learn how to write dialogues, you should read and re-read classic and contemporary authors, watch films and TV shows with high-quality replicas of characters, analyze the structure of dialogs, and make your own conclusions. Below, you will find a few helpful tips that will allow you to create impeccable dialogues and engage your readers.

Always use quotation marks

One of the most common rules in writing dialogues assumes using quotation marks. Quotation marks define what is spoken by the character and what is the author`s language. If you fail to use the quotation marks correctly, your reader will definitely get confused. 

Give each of your speakers a separate paragraph

According to the common writing rules, each of your speakers should have a separate paragraph in your story, even if this paragraph is very short. In such a way, you will allow your reader to understand the dialogue better and navigate through your paper easier. 

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Keep in mind that each character is special

Keep in mind that all people speak differently. Someone inserts specific words into their speech whereas others use words that are obscure to other people. Each character speaks according to his or her age, education, upbringing, etc. However, even the characters of the same generation who grew up in the same environment can communicate in completely different ways. Thus, make sure to think it over before you start creating your first novel. For example, the sophisticated words will always be inappropriate in the mouth of an eight-year-old girl from a story about a modern school. At the same time, they perfectly characterize an old wizard. As such, we highly recommend you to study the communication patterns of other people as it will help you understand what words can be said by your characters.

Pay attention that none of the characters of your story (if this is not some kind of comedy of the absurd) can chat aimlessly. In most cases, the writer uses the dialogues to:

  • Move the plot forward;
  • Convey some important information to the reader;
  • Disclose the characters or their motivation to readers.

Noteworthy, the dialogue should not turn into a list of dry facts. It is also important to make sure that the conversation between the characters does not interfere with the integrity of the plot and the context of a particular scene.

If the characters talk for a long time about the weather, readers simply skip this part of the text. However, if, for example, the weather is a metaphor for the feelings of the characters or a conversation about the weather serves as a clue to the detective story, such a conversation will be appropriate.

If you are writing prose, do not make the continuous dialogue too long as it will slow down the development of the plot. If necessary, it is better to dilute the conversation with descriptions of the actions and emotions of the characters.

Do not confuse your reader

Build a dialogue in such a way so that the reader does not have questions about who is currently speaking. For simplicity, you can use the classic scheme using “he said” or “she said.”

When re-reading the manuscript before sending it to the publisher, be sure to pay attention to the dialogs. Make sure to remove duplicate and too sophisticated words, unnecessary descriptions, and uninformative cues. Read the text aloud and make sure that the conversations of the characters do not sound fake. All in all, a thorough revision will help you polish your dialogues until perfection.

Almost every novice writer complains that his or her dialogues turn out to be too unnatural or not informative. They include too many words whereas their meaning is not that important. The people love good dialogues and enjoy reading them. Some of them even skip paragraphs and pages to get to the conversations between characters faster. Writers often use dialogues to convey information to readers in a way that is interesting and attractive to them. Write conversations, understanding your characters, trying to do this simply and clearly, and read them out loud to make sure the dialogue sounds natural.

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How to write dialogue format?

Below, you will find common how to write dialogue examples that will help you understand how your dialogue should look like in your paper.

  • Enclose the words with double quotation marks.

“My favorite athlete is Michael Phelps.”

  • Dialogue tags stay after the quote and get separated by a comma.

William asked, “Why don`t you give it a try?”

“Do not be so brave,” said Emily. “You don`t know how it will act.”

  • Actions occurring before the dialogue or after it should go in a separate sentence. For instance, if Jessica nodded and then spoke, you can write it this way:

Jessica nodded. “I think he is right.”

  • Punctuation should go inside the quote.

Lucas opened his mouth. “Great!” He looked bravely. “If you want, I will do that?”

  • If the same person talks long enough and his/her speech takes a few paragraphs, you should place opening quotation marks at the very beginning of each paragraph. At the same time, closing quotation marks should be placed at the end of the last paragraph.

Undoubtedly, reading the books and short stories, you will find a lot of other examples that will help you understand how to write dialogues. Polish your writing proficiency learning more about the common ways to write dialogues and achieve the anticipated results!

All in all, well-written dialogues are loved by everyone. If you manage to create a great dialogue, the reader will greatly enjoy reading it. Just do not forget that the dialogue is only one of the elements of a prosaic or dramatic work. All the other aspects including an idea, characters, a non-trivial conflict, exciting plot twists, and many other aspects should be also developed on a high level.