Hello, everyone! I thought I’d share with you a couple tips on staging good dialogue when writing a novel. I am by no means a professional, many of these tips I tend to stray of when writing dialogue. I do make mistakes as well. 😉 I hope these tips will help you as they help me.
Take a look at these lines of dialogue (btw I’m just making the dialogue up as I go 😛 ):
“You caught the culprit, detective?” Hefler placed his feet on the desk.
“Not yet, sir. But we will.” The young detective
“Are you sure about that?”
“How do you know?”
“I just do, sir.”
And blah blah blah. I don’t think anyone wants to read dialogue like that.
- Your character doesn’t have to directly answer another character’s question all the time. Readers don’t want to be slowed down by useless dialogue. And plus it’s not very natural to be holding a conversation such as the above. Perhaps instead of answering directly to every question, maybe you could give more information on the situation instead of giving useless dialogue.
- Use your dialogue to show your character’s personality. Not yours. You might not have the same personality as your character. Therefore, you might not talk the same. You have to put yourself in your character’s shoes. The way your reader talks is a good way to show what kind of person they are. Do they use slang? Do they like to use big words? Do they talk a lot or a little?
- Let your characters talk as naturally as possible. Although it’s good to match your character’s dialogue with their personality, it’s also a good idea to let them talk naturally. Let them talk the way that you and people around you would usually talk. Try to write their dialogue in a way that your readers will be able to relate to them.
- Don’t make conversations overly long. This is something I struggle with. I try to cram all the information I need to disclose with my readers that I forget I’m making my dialogue too insanely long. Action needs its place too. 😉 Maybe the character can find out along the way.
- This isn’t exactly on dialogue, but you don’t have to write ‘he/she said’ after each dialogue. You could write, ‘Kim groaned’, or ‘Kim’s eyes sparkled’ to show what she is feeling at the time. You could even write something the character is doing, just to show that that person is talking.
That’s about it! I hope you got something out of my opinions. 🙂
Smile, and God bless!