In writing novels and short stories, it is essential to create realistic dialogues that abide by literary standards and common practices without limiting creativity. Dialogue writing is among the most fundamental element of fiction writing that requires a good sense of creativity and imagination, and has been the reason why writers fail at composing good literary pieces for their readers.
The key to writing dialogue that is effective and interesting is to keep things real. Dialogue writing isn’t about replicating a real-life conversation. It’s about giving an impression of it. Who wants to spend money on a stage play performance where the characters are reading dialogue straight from a book? Every word uttered by a character must reflect his/her personality – making them more natural and relatable to readers.
Tips on Writing a Dialogue
Dialogue writing can be done by both amateurs and professionals. To help out starters in crafting their novels and short stories with sensible lines, ChatEbooks lists down four simple ways to make sure dialogues are convincing and realistic.
Use Simple Terms that are Commonly Used in Real Life
When writing a dialogue, never choose the words “the person proclaimed” when the phrase “he said” will do. People might think you are just bragging about your vocabulary capacity, without level-headedly thinking about the flow of the story. Audiences with such dialogues will lose touch with the essence of the plot due to the complex words. Make sure to use direct and ordinary words as much as possible to get your readers’ attention.
Use Dialects, Accents, and Other Languages with Care
A character who speaks with an accent should be well familiarized with the accent he or she is using. The words should always be according to how native speakers of the language communicate. Otherwise, improper usage of accents can cause your characters to appear stereotypical and discriminatory, which may offend your readers.
Stay Away from Delivering too much Information through Dialogue Writing
Story exposition is better left with the plot and the occurrences, rather than delivered through dialogues. Anyone who speaks outright such as “As your principal, I am talking to you about a school offense that you have done” will sound fake, forced, and annoying. Let the characters speak for themselves, and allow the story plot to reveal the characters.
Shorten Lines as Much as Possible
Edit to make dialogues shorter instead of longer. Never use ten words when five words will suffice. A somewhat general rule to writing as a craft is that shorter lines are more readable. And, this also applies to dialogue writing. Therefore, edit your writing numerous times without leaving out important points and factors that contribute to the whole story.