Whether writing a story for your literature class in college or attempting to create your first novel, one way or another, you will likely face the need to write dialogues. All writers go through this. And while some love this process and get it right, most students and aspiring authors just hate it because it is so complicated.
The greatest difficulty of writing dialogue is that it has to demonstrate the reflexive dynamic and natural cadence of language inherent in human speech. This task isn’t easy. But the conversations are crucial for storytelling. It is a dialogue that makes a story come alive. So, whether you are planning to stun the reader with your novel or get that desired A+ in literature, you will have to master the art of writing it.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, a professional from EssayService, an essay writer help platform for students, will share seven tips to help you nail dialogue writing. Let’s dive in!
Make It Concise
Typically inexperienced writers fall into two extremes. Some of them avoid writing dialogues and don’t include them at all. And others love it, and they make their entire piece look like one big conversation with almost no back story. Neither of these is right. You should include dialogues to enhance storytelling. But you should keep every one of them brief and don’t let it continue for pages.
Experts from a number of professional custom writing platforms, which students use to write essays for money, stress that lengthy dialogues can be very confusing and exhausting for the reader. So, the first tip is to keep them brief.
Don’t Go for a Small Talk
In real life, small talks are there when there is nothing else to say. We use them to fill in the awkward silence or just chat for no reason. In literature, every dialogue should serve a specific purpose. It has to reveal something important about the plot or a character. Every time there is a dialogue, it has to make the story progress. So, there really is no time to waste on small talks.
Give Your Characters a Unique Voice
Each of us has a unique way of speaking and presenting our thoughts. Depending on different personality traits, people can be more passive or active in a conversation. For some, it is more natural to use graceful, literary phrasing, whereas others speak plainly and may use harsher language. All these unique features of our speech are dictated by many factors, including age, education, life experience, upbringing, etc. And your characters should also have distinctive voices that match their personal stories.
The tip for giving your characters a unique way of speaking is to focus on word choice and tone. Carefully analyze your characters’ identities and find a voice that matches each.
Leave Some Things Unsaid
When writing dialogues, many inexperienced authors tend to dump everything on the reader straight away to make their characters’ thoughts clear. However, it is worth mentioning that we leave many things unsaid in real life. So, this is something you should do in your dialogues too.
Use the narrative to create a scene and explain your characters’ motivations, worries, and desires. And then use dialogues to increase the suspense between them.
When a shy, anxious, and insecure character all of a sudden starts speaking boldly and roughly, it looks unnatural at the least. Of course, this could happen as the result of deep personal transformations that take place in the story. But when there is no setting for such changes, you better leave your characters’ voices unchanged.
Consistency is one of the most important elements of great dialogue. So, when writing yours, be sure to keep your characters’ ways of speaking consistent and matching the back story.
Change Speech Patterns Depending on the Relationships
In a dialogue, you sure want every character to have a unique voice and keep that voice consistent. However, this doesn’t mean it can’t change depending on who they are talking to.
For example, even a tough and grumpy man can use more delicate speech patterns when talking to his little daughter or mother. If you use this trick in your dialogues, that has nothing to do with inconsistency. On the contrary, it is a way to better disclose your characters’ personalities and add more dynamic to your story.
Don’t Waste Time on Greetings and Goodbyes
Although it is quite natural for people to greet and say goodbyes at the beginning and end of the dialogue, in literature, you don’t have to record all greetings and goodbyes. Sometimes it will make more sense to set up narrative scenes to describe how your characters get into a dialogue or end it. On the contrary, if every conversation in your novel starts with “hello” and ends with “goodbye,” it can sound somewhat odd.
The Bottom Line
Writing dynamic and natural dialogues isn’t a piece of cake. But now, you have a list of handy tips to help you easily create brilliant conversations. In the end, we have one bonus tip for you – remember that “show, don’t tell” is the key mantra for every writer. Don’t use dialogues to tell the whole story. Instead, use them to spice it up!