How to Write Dialogue

Feb 6, 2020

Dialogue is an extremely detrimental and essential part to any story. Writers work very hard to ensure that the conversations that they create in their books are captivating and engaging for the reader. Written stories, plays, movies, and even some operas are made up of some emotionally engaging dialogues.

While in a movie or a play, the dialogue is purely spoken. In a book however, it is written, so it is up to the reader on how to perceive the text, adding to the illusion and allure of the story.

Always remember to write your dialogue by relating to your characters, reading it out loud sometimes can help to ensure that it sounds genuine.

Tips to Help you learn How to Write Dialogue in your Story

Always match your dialogue verbs to the feel of your story.

 Sometimes stories work best with simpler dialogue words like “answered” or “said.” In other cases, sprucing up the words a bit might sound better with a more descriptive word, like “he demanded” or “she protested.” Maybe you want to get creative and try mixing your story up with a bit of both?

  • Example: “John please take that silly hat off your head” Johns mom said. John sat there, not paying any attention to his mother, “Johnathon! Now!” she bellowed out. See how using the word “bellowed” makes you feel the dialogue more.

No matter what words you choose, just make sure you don’t repeat the same word too often, as it will ruin the sound and feel of your story. A good exercise to challenge yourself to using as many as you can think of without repeating any.

Progress the story forward by using your dialogue

You should provide information to the reader informing them about the story and the characters. Dialogue is a great way to do this. Use dialogue to development a character, or to fill your reader in on some information that they may not get otherwise. Try to refrain from doing small talk about the weather, or each character’s day. A good a way in which to use small talk is to build up tension.

All of your dialogue should always have a set purpose. When you write be sure to ask yourself, “does this add to the story? Does this make the story more engaging to the reader?”

Don’t just blatantly dump info in your dialogue

This one gets a lot of new writers, as it’s very common. You may think to yourself, that the best way to get a plethora of info across to my reader is by having my characters talk about it at great length? A good bit of advice is to add your background information sporadically, it’s best when sprinkled appropriately throughout the story.

  • Example (don’t do it this way): “Now I need to learn how to become a ninja like my father so I can avenge the death of my parents. Ever since their passing I’ve had trouble in school, and it’s caused me to be a loner…”

Instead try writing it like this:

  • Kristaps dropped out of school 2 years ago to the day. “I never forgot about you guys…not once.” He muttered under his breath. When his parents were attacked by that ninja clan, his father’s mastery of kung fu wasn’t enough to save him or Kristaps’ mother. “That fateful night, my life changed forever.” He pulled his belt tighter as he took a step back into his training stance. Ever since leaving school he hadn’t the time for friends anyway, leaving him to work on his martial arts day in and day out. “I will find the gang that attacked you, and I will make them pay.”

The second instance was way more descriptive, and more thought provoking for the reader.

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