For Authors: January 25, 2023 Issue [#11778]
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 This week: Different Characters and Dialogue
  Edited by: Dawn Embers
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

For Authors Newsletter by Dawn

Talking about how characters talk.

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

There are many elements involved in writing stories that authors need to consider. Either during character development or the writing process, something that comes up whether we plan it or not is going to be dialogue. How a character talks can be very important but also has the potential to hinder readers. This newsletter topic was also sparked by a topic on the "Writing.Com General Discussion [13+] where writers can express different questions and views writing.

Also, an episode of Family Guy comes to mind when considering how people and characters talk. There was an episode many years ago where Stewie had to teach a different little girl how to speak more formal, to sound ladylike for a big event. Granted it spirals downhill fast later leading to her vows of revenge but the training for speech is something done in different shows to kind of showcase both the joys and struggles of speech.

"Just let them talk!"

"That is easier said than done, I say."

"Well, perhaps there is a reason for the difficult nature when it comes to the patterns and styles related to speech."

"When y'all make up yous mind, why dontcha let me's know..."

The last one hurt a little in my head as I was typing it. Which brings me to the overall point. While it is fun and in some stories very important to give the dialogue flair to really show the reader how the characters speak instead of telling them there is a different element to the words, there is also a potential to make it hard for the reader to handle. A little bit of quarks and style can make a big impact. However, at least from my experience, if you put a lot of style into the dialogue of the characters it might be fitting but can be difficult to read. Aside from understanding the words, there is a struggle in flow as some readers don't like to stumble along the way when reading a story. Doesn't mean it's wrong but take into mind how the use of dialect, symbols and showcasing language struggles will influence the readability.

Some things to consider when thinking about different ages, dialects and language creation when preparing to write dialogue:

Understanding of time lines. This is good for younger characters because kids like to tell stories but they aren't quite grown in development for understanding what items are important and how to order things. They may forget something then come up with it mid story, throwing random bits in. Or may get distracted and wonder around not really having a point. Adults can do this too.

Similar words and sounds. One doesn't need to showcase every error or struggle in language to get the point across that there is a different understand or someone is still in language learning stages. Slips of phrase or getting a word that is similar or close to write but just a little wrong can give a character a little flair.

Don't over complicate but also do what is best for the story. While it's a good idea to consider the different readers, to keep it simple and not overdo different languages or speech, there is also some merit to doing what you see best for the story. Fantasy and sci-fi have some particular usage for symbols, adding flair to language in order to show the world and characters of the story. This may alienate some readers. One just has to be aware that some may not like that element of the story if the dialogue gets a little clunky or complicated. That doesn't mean you can't do it. Just be aware and not sensitive to feedback that doesn't quite appreciate those aspects. Not every reader will like every story and that is okay.

So, let your characters speak.

Editor's Picks

The Writer's Cramp  (13+)
Write the best STORY or POEM in 24 hours or less and win 10K GPs!
#333655 by Sophy

Poetry Topic of the Month Contest  (13+)
Win Exclusive MBs. It ends at midnight at the end of each month. Suggest the topic.
#2216416 by Witty Mcdoodle Sharmelle

Writing 4 Kids Contest  (ASR)
If you like writing stories and/or poems for kids, this is the contest for you!
#1999597 by Cubby~Back Home!

The Contest Challenge  (13+)
Join by entering a contest a month for 12 months--Win Badges! Catching up is allowed!
#2109126 by Schnujo

Unstable(d) Writer's Challenge   (E)
A 12-month, intense writing Challenge
#2281662 by Shadow Prowler

The Dialogue 500  (18+)
Dialogues of 500 words or less.
#941862 by W.D.Wilcox

 How to Develop Great Fiction Dialogue  (E)
Writers can follow three simple rules that will make dialogue more believable.
#1788960 by Ken Brosky

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Ask & Answer

How do you write the dialogue of characters who speak different that is easy enough for different readers to follow?

Last month, I wrote a newsletter about planning for the year with a focus on writing. Here are a couple of comment sent in for that topic:

Comment by BIG BAD WOLF Feels Lucky
Try to get down to 275lbs. Write a few stories, add to others.

Comment by Monty
I am a poet and will see what your ideas mean to me.


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