*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/5097-Writing-Dialogue-that-Speaks.html
Short Stories: June 13, 2012 Issue [#5097]

Newsletter Header
Short Stories


 This week: Writing Dialogue that Speaks
  Edited by: Lonewolf
                             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

I'm Lonewolf and in my newsletter this week I'll touch on the subject of dialogue in hopes that what I cover here will be of assistance to you (my readers) in someway.

We use dialogue everyday. It is the basis of most human communication. It is language. And when we write fiction, it's called dialogue. Dialogue can make or break a piece.
Whether you use only one line of dialogue or a majority of dialogue, if it doesn't fit your character, if it's not clear, if it's not plausible, the entire piece can fall apart.


Word from our sponsor

ASIN: 1542722411
Amazon's Price: $ 12.99


Letter from the editor

Writing dialogue can be daunting, though we all speak most everyday. However, when writing dialogue, we aren't writing what we would say, but what our characters would say. Through a few relatively easy exercises, realistic dialogue will only be a few key strokes away. As long as we always remember that dialogue is central to characterization, plot, and interest, we can take the apprehension out of writing dialogue.

One of the most important and best things you can do when writing dialogue is to first read your dialogue aloud.If you are not reading your dialogue (or your whole piece, both dialogue and non-dialogue) aloud to yourself, you are not giving your work a chance. When read your work aloud you create a detachment between your mind and the work. You are able to edit with a little less bias. You hear what the reader reads. Sometimes, you read your own work with a skimming eye. After all, you wrote it; you know what's there. But, when you allow yourself to voice the words, you just may find some clunky phrase that just doesn't fit; that will make the reader go "What?" and lose their train of thought, or lose their interest in the story. By reading aloud you can fix those phrases and work them out so the piece becomes a continuous whole.

Another thing to remember is not to forget that you (and the reader) should be able to tell who is speaking at all times. Each character must have a distinct and differing point of dialogue. Notice how we all speak differently. Compare the way your friends, or your family even, speak. Each has a different vocabulary, a different tone, a different way of phrasing things. Young and old speak differently; ethnicity can have an effect on how someone speaks. Someone who was well educated will speak differently than a high school drop out. It is important to make these differences clear. Eddie the gas station attendant from Oklahoma isn't going to use "indubitably" in his everyday language unless he is also well educated or has a reason behind the word choice that is mentioned in the piece itself.

Personally, I carry on conversations between characters in my head all the time. I'm not always writing them down, they're not always pertinent to the story I'm writing, but it gives me a kind of practice. When I sit down to write a scene I am comfortable with the way these people talk, and can translate their words into the story. It is important for you to make as real a connection with your characters as possible. Feel what they are saying. If you do not have an emotional connection with your characters, neither are your readers. As Robert Frost once said, "No tears in the writer; no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer; no surprise for the reader."

When I get stuck with a particular dialogue, whether in inception or during editing, I work it out aloud. I turn on some music and become an actor, inhabiting my characters and feeling out how they would react and what they would say. Too often people think writing is all silent. They assume poetry is the only thing that needs rhythm and flow. This is absolutely not the case. Reading aloud is essential to the readability of your work.

Remember, that if you think a line of dialogue is cheesy, doesn't work, or doesn't fit a character, your reader will pick up on that. Dialogue is especially important, because everyone uses dialogue. There are so many nuances like dialect and slang, so many different ways of speaking, but everyone does it. Whether English, Chinese, or ASL, everyone speaks, and can pick up on when dialogue just doesn't speak. Think of watching a really bad movie or TV show and someone says something and you just cringe at how contrived it sounds. Don't let this be you. Just because your readers aren't reading your work aloud (on most occasions) doesn't mean they can't pick up on bad dialogue.

In the end, you just have to feel it out. Just like creating good characters and dramatic situations, good dialogue takes time and practice. It takes listening, speaking aloud, observation, trial, and error.



Editor's Picks

 Another Storm  (13+)
Storms and nightmares foretell horror.
#848247 by Vivian


 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#1069196 by Not Available.


 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#1381969 by Not Available.


 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#1489128 by Not Available.


 360 Degrees  (18+)
What if you get what you prayed for, 22 years too late? ~2nd, Great Short Stories Contest
#1319031 by Cherokeescribe

 
Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!
https://Writing.Com/main/newsletters/action/nli_form

Word from Writing.Com

Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!
         https://Writing.Com/main/newsletters/action/nli_form

Don't forget to support our sponsor!

ASIN: B07K6Z2ZBF
Amazon's Price: $ 4.99


Ask & Answer


*Bullet* *Bullet* *Bullet* Don't Be Shy! Write Into This Newsletter! *Bullet* *Bullet* *Bullet*

This form allows you to submit an item on Writing.Com and feedback, comments or questions to the Writing.Com Newsletter Editors. In some cases, due to the volume of submissions we receive, please understand that all feedback and submissions may not be responded to or listed in a newsletter. Thank you, in advance, for any feedback you can provide!
Writing.Com Item ID To Highlight (Optional):

Send a comment or question to the editor!
Limited to 2,500 characters.
Word from our sponsor
ASIN: B000FC0SIM
Amazon's Price: $ 12.99

Removal Instructions

To stop receiving this newsletter, click here for your newsletter subscription list. Simply uncheck the box next to any newsletter(s) you wish to cancel and then click to "Submit Changes". You can edit your subscriptions at any time.


Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/5097-Writing-Dialogue-that-Speaks.html