In the Company of Writers: A Guide to Writing Realistic Dialogue.

companyofwritersDialogue can be one of the hardest things to learn in writing. You express much with prose, but to make your characters come alive, they have to talk, and making your characters stand out from each other can be done easily when they speak.

Some things to keep in mind when writing dialogue:

  1. Speech patterns: How do your characters talk? Accents? There are countries where a person’s social status is determined by their accent.
  2. What genre is the story? Fantasy stories, especially high-fantasy may have a more formal feel to the dialogue.
  3. If it’s a historical novel use speech patterns and language attributed to that era. Research is highly recommended for these novels.

This online article has good examples of dialogue problems.

https://blog.oup.com/2017/02/how-to-write-dialogue/

Stiff dialogue can be another problem. Long winded conversations can bore a reader especially when the dialogue is either retelling what the reader already knows or is explaining a situation. Known as “Well You Know Bob”, it’s easy to make this mistake.

http://authorkristenlamb.com/2013/12/do-you-have-as-you-know-bob-syndrome-how-writers-can-butcher-dialogue-how-to-fix-it/

In the same area is dialogue that gives too much away. This is a particular problem when the writer is working on a mystery of some kind. In reality these conversations would never be spoken as most of what is in these long speeches could easily be written or shown in the story.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/keep-it-simple-keys-to-realistic-dialogue-part-i

Dialogue tags are meant to only distinguish who is saying what. If you have only two characters in your scene you can get away with pronouns (especially if they are m/f) or by occasionally mentioning the character’s name. Your dialogue tags should NEVER get in the way of the dialogue, or pull a reader out of the story.  If6

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/keep-it-simple-keys-to-realistic-dialogue-part-ii

Here are other great links on writing dialogue:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/07/05/25-things-you-should-know-about-dialogue/

http://www.nownovel.com/blog/fantastic-dialogue-writing-advice/

http://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-write-dialogue-tips/

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