Writing dialogue is an important skill to develop so that characters’ speech is imbued with voice and advances the story. Learn more in this complete guide to dialogue writing and formatting, with examples.
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:
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:
‘Don’t use adverbs. Only ever use descriptive verbs.’ This is a writing ‘rule’ often repeated, partly thanks to Stephen King’s strong views on the subject. It’s true that beginning authors often use adverbs to cover up bland dialogue or action. You don’t have to avoid adverbs completely, however. Here are 7 ways to make sure you don’t use adverbs the wrong way in your action and dialogue:
Writing dialogue presents a unique set of challenges. A single italicized word can change the whole tone and meaning of an exchange, for example. Compare a person telling a questioner ‘that’s all I can remember’ with ‘that’s all I can remember.’ The difference in emphasis alters the meaning of the sentence. Here are 7 ways to write better dialogue:
Great dialogue involves your reader or viewer in a conversation completely. Read 10 tips from movie dialogue pros, from Hitchcock to Mamet and others: