Dialogue: Lets Talk About That

When you are in the process of creative writing, there are certain elements included that a non-fiction work does not have. One such element is dialogue. Dialogue is a tricky thing and requires a balance between description and talking. Some authors tend to focus more on the description of what's going on in the story, and others tend to have too much talking.


Here are some helpful tips on how to include dialogue in your story:


1) When writing dialogue, remember that your reader cannot see the picture in your head. Include actions throughout the exchange, for example:

"Let me try the coffee," she said as she reached for the cup.

Remember that conversations we have in real life are not static. We have voice inflection. We have body language. We react physically to what the other person says. We have conversations while in the middle of doing other things. When these descriptions are incorporated into the dialogue, the reader has a more complete picture of the scene in your head.


2) Sometimes in dialogue it is easy to tell who is saying what. However, there are times, especially with a longer conversation, it can be hard to keep track easily. Interjecting "Frank said" or "Sue replied" every so often can help the reader to keep track of the conversation.


3) When writing a story, don't forget that dialogue is important. Yes, at times you can simply summarize a conversation, but there are times you still need to have the full conversation there. Our lives are full of conversation and a story devoid of it can cause the reader to become bored, just like a story being devoid of description can become uninteresting.


4) It is perfectly fine to divulge important information that is relevant to the story in the midst of your dialogue, rather than including it in your description. For instance a character could be telling another about how someone looks so they can find them later in the story. Just remember that there is a balance to this as well.


While there are other elements to good dialogue, these four are the elements I often see forgotten. Happy writing!

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