I'm writing a dialogue heavy scene. The protagonist has met with a group of mercenaries that he spent a great deal of his younger days with. He doesn't come to them for a catch-up however, he has ulterior motives for the meet.

The protagonist is sat at a table with his three old friends. He's filling them in on a prior event (one that happened away from the pages of the book).

Here's my question...

As the protagonist is doing 70-80% of the talking, how to I involve the user enough so that they don't forget about the other characters? For example, the protagonist directs a question at Person A, and they riff on this question a little together. How do I involve Person B and C enough in this part so that they don't disappear from thought?

2 Answers 2


Stage business. B takes a drink. C eats something. B lounges back in his chair, looking thoughtful as he listens. C winks at the serving guy. B rolls his eyes at something the protagonist said, and C smacks his arm to make him stop. B plays with a coin, a ring, a belt loop. C starts polishing her knives.

Imagine that you're watching the scene in a movie. The other two are still there, still moving and reacting and doing stuff. Write that down.


Smart remarks and sarcasm. and given that this is military recruitment trite maxims are great.

"... and Then the king -"

"fell flat on his face," B interrupted.

"no, no, no that only happens when some one important is watching," said C.

P tried to get things back on track, "proclaimed that the princess -"

"is as ugly as the frog she married," interrupted C.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.