Questions tagged [dialogue]

He said, she said, or what your characters are saying.

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What does it mean when someone says a dialogue has to be "well executed"?

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0013138/ Jim Agnes, famous director and writer, said that when writing a movie script you need to make sure the dialogues need to be "well executed", they need to ...
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Mixing indirect and direct speech in fiction

I often find myself wanting to include bits of dialogue in narratives where I am summarizing a detailed conversation. For example, I am inclined to write silly things like this: Bill and Ted talked ...
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How do you determine if a character dialogue can be cut?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kaQh9qmGh0 I am not good at writing dialogues, so I want to write as little as possible while making the story engaging and having good story beats. I would like to ...
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How can you show that people are showing antipathy towards a character without using or by using minimal dialogues in a comics?

How can you show that people are showing antipathy towards a character without using or by using minimal dialogues in a comics? I was thinking of putting some panels where some characters are seen ...
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6 votes
5 answers
898 views

Format when repeating one word from another character's dialogue

I'm trying to find the formatting convention for quoting another character's dialogue when repeating just one word. An example would be: 'You were the only person I could think of,' said Mike. 'The ...
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What are some ways to tell that two people are talking over the same radio frequency?

What are some ways to tell that two people are talking over the same radio frequency? "HQ, do you copy?" said John. "Dark Saber, I copy." said Matthews over the radio. "It's ...
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5 votes
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How can I communicate that an entire conversation is whispered?

Situation in fiction writing. Two characters are involved in an exploration of a long-abandoned gold mine. However, dangerous creatures may still lurk there. The two characters will be communicating ...
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Is it ok to skip over some dialogues, and how do we do it?

Let me give you an example first. "Alpha Bravo, we have enemies on our flank." reported the pilot. "Roger that." Versus "Alpha Bravo, we have enemies on our flank." ...
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Characters inner thoughts made others mad?

I have this overall "good" and polite character. He helps everyone in need and is very much raised to be like a posh-like Victorian gentleman. The thing is, he keeps his "negative" ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Are there any particularly easy dialects with which to spice up my bit characters?

I want to spice up some of my bit characters, the folk who only appear for a scene or two and fulfil one purpose. One way of making them more memorable is to have them speak an English dialect, ...
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What is the best way to write a non-verbal character communicating?

I am in the process of writing a book and one of my characters cannot speak. Essentially, she knows this world's version of sign language and generally uses it. If a person does not know sign language,...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What would the dialogue be when a character is not listening to another character?

Like a son tuning out his mother's scolding. Or a character being distracted as their friend blabs on about something. Would it be like: "Isn't he dreamy? I mean, look at the size of those ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Guy's POV when falling in love. Too much, not enough?

Half of my story is told from (1st person) male POV and he falls in love with the leader of a rebellion he's meant to be undercover investigating and trying to stop. He slowly comes round to join the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
101 views

How should I include an English phrase that other characters have confused for a character's name (due to a language barrier)?

In a first person perspective story I'm working on the main character has a language barrier with most of the other people she meets. To such an extent that other characters have confused a phrase of ...
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3 votes
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Would an equals sign as secondary language exact quotes be misinterpreted in literary fiction?

I have chosen to show an accented English that is only comprehensible to speakers of the secondary language. The topic of translated sign language has been beat up and I accept that there is no ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How to give more space to a dialogue?

I've read the "On writing" and other valuable positions. I've learnt all about unnecessary adverbs and repetitions. I can make words of my characters sound strong and natural. Whereas most ...
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Should ending punctuation be put before or after an ellipsis? Compare ?..., ...?, !... and ...!

Through reading some self-published novels, I have noticed some writers in their character dialogue put an exclamation mark or question mark before an ellipsis and sometimes after. However I am not ...
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Interrupting action beats with dialogue?

Are you allowed to interrupt an action beat with dialogue? For example: I push off from the pole on which I was leaning, “I’m sorry, but I have to go.” then start jogging away before anyone can ...
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2 answers
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How to depict alien thoughts when color/pattern is primary language?

Searched through questions, googled around, and couldn't find anything helpful so here I am. I am trying to find an interesting way to write out the thought patterns of an alien species that's primary ...
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Is dialogue necessary for a good story to be told? [duplicate]

When I write, I often write in a way that is very descriptive of the scenery and the way the scenery flows, and often never focus on character development. As a result of this, dialogue usually never ...
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3 votes
3 answers
92 views

How to write a protagonist in 1st POV, who is talkative?

My character is very talkative. As the narrator, how is she to balance her talkativeness in dialogue, narration, and description without making it boring, too long, or make it seem like she's dumping ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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When do you break a paragraph when transitioning from dialogue back to prose?

Dialogue can get messy, jumping from character to character with beats and prose mixed in here and there. How do you handle all the paragraph breaks? Obviously anytime a new character speaks you have ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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What do you call these specific phrases used to introduce a dialogue?

"Hey, look at this. Why isn't it working?" John said, passing the remote to Sam. "You didn't press play," Sam said, snapping up the remote. "Hi everyone! My name is John, and ...
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16 votes
11 answers
5k views

How do you make characters sound like non-native English speakers without using any grammar error in their dialogues?

How do you make characters sound like non-native English speakers without using any grammar error in their dialogues? I don't want to make people uncomfortable by having a character speak like an ...
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1 vote
2 answers
116 views

Is there a way to add noises that don't have an onomatopoeia?

"Brrrrrr, it's cold, brrrrr!" said Emanuel "teeth grinding noise" it's cold, teeth grinding noise" said Emanuel. Is there a way to add noises that don't have an onomatopoeia? ...
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0 votes
4 answers
131 views

Characters' tone/pitch in dialogue

How does one go about showing a characters tone/pitch while talking? For example, if someone said something that someone else doesn't believe and they reacted like: bullsHIIt or whaAATt Where the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
130 views

What are some tricks you can use to write a good story if you don't know how people talk and behave?

What are some tricks you can use to write a good story if you don't know how people talk and behave? Are there some tips and tricks on how to be able to still write a good story if you try to avoid ...
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0 votes
1 answer
76 views

How to write a gatekeeper yelling "Ooooooi" before asking who goes there?

The title sums it up. I would like advice on how to write the yell of a gatekeeper calling to attention the people approaching the gate. Pretty much like some scenes where they go: "OOOOiiii, who ...
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Type of dialogues?

I was writing a short story about characters. I have a problem with the dialogue style I wrote it in. It is like this: Karan: Hey Piyush! How are you? Piyush: Hey, I'm good. What about you? Karan: I ...
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3 votes
2 answers
100 views

MC has selective mutism; what to do with dialogue?

In a book I’m writing, the main character (a 15-year-old girl) has/struggles with selective mutism. I’ve quickly run into the problem where she is in a “mute situation” where she doesn’t talk. I’ve ...
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How to format dialogue about a playing video?

So let's say I have characters A and B who are chatting about a video that Character A recorded of themselves. In between their chatting, the dialogue of the video can also be heard, for example: &...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How does one put text messages in a novel?

I want to add sections within my novel where multiple characters are sending text messages to each other, but don't how to format it or if there's a certain way of doing it. For example, would I do it ...
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1 vote
1 answer
80 views

Punctuation in a dialogue where a character says their nickname, followed by their full name

I've been wondering about this rule for a while now, and I haven't seem to get what the 'correct' answer is. For example, there are times where I want a character (let's say the full name is Chris ...
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1 vote
2 answers
74 views

How to format dialog mixed with non-dialog?

You normally break dialog up into separate paragraphs, but how are you supposed to format it when it's intermixed with non-dialog? Below is an example. Is it correct to write the following exchange ...
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2 votes
2 answers
82 views

How to format italicized internal thoughts intermixed with other text?

I'm writing a story in the 3rd person, but there are parts where I use italicized text in the 1st person to tell what the protagonist is thinking. This works pretty well most of the time, but there ...
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5 votes
2 answers
112 views

How do I change the person a character addresses in a screenplay?

I was formatting my screenplay, and I wondered how to specify that the speaker changes who they are addressing. I figured it would simply be stated in a parenthetical:                 DUIRE What? I'm ...
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2 answers
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Can I link a dialogue tag to dialogue using a colon

Can I introduce dialogue as follows - The headmaster entered the room: "Everybody sit down now!" or - "Everybody sit down now": The headmaster had entered the room I know I could ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Trying to decide on writing style and format for dialogue. Looking for Grammatical advice and suggestions. Native British English spearker

I am new to this forum and writing and I am trying to decide on my preferred writing style. I am currently working on dialogue and looking for ideas and suggestions for grammatically correct and 'good ...
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4 votes
4 answers
191 views

How to create a scene for a dialogue?

Everybody knows how an important part of writing is the ability to compose proper dialogue. I've even heard that publishers tend to jump to the first conversation in a received draft and see if it ...
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12 votes
3 answers
1k views

How can I flavour quote-only dialogue?

When writing dialogue, I know it's sometimes normal/useful to drop attribution and provide only the direct quotes during dialogue, like so: "Like we used to Mamma?" "Einmitt, my little ...
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5 votes
3 answers
3k views

Ways to show someone is whispering without using "he whispered"

I've seen a lot of advice that says you should scrap all non-'said' dialogue tags. I can see the value of this, but I'm not sure how to make it work in every instance. It's pretty easy to show things ...
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7 votes
4 answers
184 views

How do I describe an accent from our world in a non-Earth fictional world?

In my writing, I feel it can give a character distinction if they have an accent; our main character(s) have an American accent, but the newly-introduced one of them has an Irish accent. My problem, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
118 views

Writing unique character-based dialogue?

I have read this on many sites and articles: "When writing dialogue, you should give every character their own unique dialogue so that it would be recognizable without writing their names." ...
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1 vote
1 answer
105 views

Action between dialogue

I've noticed I've been putting lots of action between someone's dialogue and have many inconsistencies and wanted to know if there was a difference between different ways of punctuating it or if it ...
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1 vote
2 answers
99 views

Making action between dialogue engaging?

For context, I'm writing a scene where a bunch of characters are having a serious but humorous, over-the-top argument about who should inherit a fortune. So far, I've got a lot of dialogue but I haven'...
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7 votes
3 answers
160 views

I struggle to make characters emote during dialogue

I often find myself with two (or more) characters speaking, and too often my descriptions would be "he paused," "he sighed," "he rubbed the bridge of his nose," etc. Too ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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how to write the word "so as if it is slurred or exagerated [duplicate]

How should I write the word "so" as if it is slurred or exaggerated for example: I'm sooo sorry. I've been so miserable and lonely.
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0 votes
3 answers
63 views

Dialogues inside a descriptive part

I am wondering if there are rules on how to format dialogues. Sometimes, you see a dialogue inside a descriptive part and sometimes they have their own lines, but sometimes it's not clear if you ...
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0 votes
3 answers
146 views

In a novel, is it ok to truncate people's dialogues before they've finished a complete sentence?

In films, you hear people exchange a phrase or two before the camera pans to someone else and so on. Is it ok to do that in a novel? What are some ways of doing this? Example: "The cops came in&...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is it possible to do a blend of ancient epic poems and modern novels?

Is it possible to do a blend of ancient epic poems and modern novels? I was thinking of considering writing a short novel, which is a mix of ancient epic poems such as Iliad and a modern novel like ...
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