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Dialogue Writing

Dialogue 101: Using dialogue tags vs action tags

How do you show who’s speaking in dialogue? When do you use ‘she said’? When do you not? How else can you show a person’s emotions or state of mind in conversation? Read definitions clarifying the uses of dialogue tags vs action tags, and examples that illustrate effective dialogue attribution:

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Dialogue Writing

How to make dialogue in writing carry your story

Dialogue in writing is tricky to master, but good dialogue carries the story. Dialogue may build pace and conflict, add tone and atmosphere, introduce and develop characters and more. Here are 5 tips to make your dialogue serve multiple useful purposes:

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Dialogue Writing

7 dialogue rules for writing fantastic conversations

Dialogue rules aren’t set in stone but help us create believable characters who have distinct, memorable voices. The best dialogue gives insights into characters and their motivations. Getting dialogue punctuation right is important, as is keeping dialogue entertaining. Here are 7 dialogue rules for writing conversations worthy of eavesdropping:

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Dialogue Writing

Writing conversations using setting (examples)

Writing conversations that don’t involve setting is like writing action scenes that don’t involve movement. Great dialogue has more than disembodied voices. It anchors us in a place, in the context that occasions characters’ interaction. Read tips for creating realistic dialogue by involving your setting:

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Character writing Dialogue Writing

Realistic dialogue: Creating characters’ speech patterns

Realistic dialogue moves stories along. When you give each character an interesting voice and persona, it’s a joy to read their conversations. Varied, entertaining speech takes readers into the heart of your characters. Here are six ways to make characters’ speech colorful and interesting:

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Dialogue Writing

Writing tense dialogue: 5 ways to add arresting tension

Writing tense dialogue is effective in making characters’ conversations interesting. When every exchange is a pleasantry or obvious observation, dialogue doesn’t do the work it can to move a story along. Tense dialogue, whether an argument between colleagues, lovers, or hero and villain, adds a note of exciting unpredictability. Here are 5 ways to add tension to your dialogue:

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Dialogue Writing

How to write dialogue: 7 steps for great conversation

Learning how to write dialogue in a story is crucial. Writing gripping conversations that include conflict and disagreement and further your story will make readers want to read on. Here are 7 steps to improve your dialogue writing skills:

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Dialogue Writing

421 ways to say said? Simplify dialogue instead

If you search for alternative dialogue tags to use in your story, you’ll find many lists. While some synonyms for ‘said’ read naturally (such as words conveying volume like ‘whispered’), others come across as overwritten and forced, particularly in the wrong context.

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Dialogue Writing

Writing dialogue between multiple characters

The Oxford dictionary defines dialogue as ‘a conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or film’ (OED). Yet the ‘or more’ (dialogue between more than two characters) is often confusing to write. How do you write and format dialogue well in a scene involving more than two characters? Here are some tips: