Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

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4answers
98 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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2answers
113 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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1answer
71 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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0answers
45 views

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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2answers
81 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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2answers
48 views

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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1answer
58 views

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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1answer
74 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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2answers
67 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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2answers
73 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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2answers
86 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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2answers
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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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1answer
64 views

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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4answers
176 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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3answers
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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3answers
2k 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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4answers
167 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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1answer
117 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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1answer
87 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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2answers
95 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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3answers
152 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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0answers
43 views

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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3answers
57 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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3answers
141 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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1answer
43 views

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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3answers
120 views

How to write good dialogue?

I'm having difficulties in writing conversations between characters, especially if they are many of them. How can I write good dialogue?
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4answers
285 views

Should you avoid introducing characters that talk one time and never talk again?

Should you avoid introducing characters that talk one time and never talk again? I wrote a scene in a chapter where the main characters talks to a technician, and then the technician is never seen ...
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1answer
70 views

How to format dialogues from a non-living thing?

How to format dialogues from a non-living thing? I am wondering what's the standard way to introduce a "dialogue" from a non-living thing. I am not talking about robots or AI, in which cases ...
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1answer
94 views

Some usual military sayings [closed]

Can anyone please show me some common military sayings used in the 1800s (or 1900s)? I found some sentences but they are all new... My story takes place before the invention of airplanes, missiles, ...
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0answers
41 views

Formatting Simultaneous Dialogue, as from a Crowd

At one point in my ongoing story, characters are in a crowd and people are yelling questions/responses/accusations around at each other. If this were normal dialogue I could put each piece on its own ...
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0answers
88 views

How do you properly write a novel with very little dialogues?

How do you properly write a novel with very little dialogues? I tried doing it and it reads awful. It looks weird if you look at the format and layout if you don't insure the descriptive parts don't ...
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7answers
1k views

What do I do when I know the general summary of how a scene goes but I cannot figure out precisely what the character say?

I have a number of scenes in my story that involve two or more characters talking to each other about various issues, many of which wander into semi-philosophical discussion regarding some of the ...
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2answers
118 views

When can you stop using "he said"?

"Hey, this is dumb," one of the men replied. "You're right, it's dumb," another man replied. "Yes, I know," the other replied. "Yeah.." the other man replied. ...
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2answers
56 views

Italicizing for emphasis

I've noticed that I have had a lot of dialogue between characters with words that need to be said with a noticeable amount of emphasis, and in order to get that emphasis I have had to italicize lots ...
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2answers
67 views

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, how should it be quoted?

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, should the dialog be surrounded by double-quotes or single-quotes, be italicized, or get no special treatment at all? For example: O'...
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3answers
84 views

How do you format a dialogue when it is interrupted by an action verb or sound?

"I wanna be - pants the president." How do you format a dialogue when it is interrupted by an action verb or sound? I don't think this is the proper way. I am looking for a better ...
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3answers
3k views

What should phrases like “um” or “erm” be replaced with?

It is generally considered bad practice to include these in your writing, so what should be used instead? How would you show that your character is pondering something, or unsure about something, ...
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4answers
168 views

Why are discourse markers not used when writing character dialogue?

I am not a writer, but I always wondered why characters tend to not talk using discourse markers, specifically cognitive markers to create flow in the dialogue. There aren't any "um", "...
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2answers
151 views

How do you write pause in a dialogue without making it look flat?

At times in conversations, there are pauses for various reasons; in videos, the contexts of these pauses are clear because of the characters facial expression. But while writing, at first you can use ...
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2answers
65 views

Formatting new line options with actions and dialogue in fiction

I am getting confused about whether rules determine new paragraph positions or if it's sometimes arbitrary. Some choices seem clear cut, but in the sentence: 'I regarded...' it reads fine to me in ...
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4answers
191 views

How to write dialogue with a large group of characters

My story has a cast of 59 characters, 25 of which are either protagonists or antagonists. Nine of these characters are very well-rounded and important, and most make an appearance at least once in ...
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1answer
127 views

What should I do in this situation?

I get most of my ideas for my novels by watching anime, or listening to the anime op or just music - the idea doesn't always be related to anime but it gives me an idea and with music and anime op, I ...
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1answer
58 views

Saying letters? [duplicate]

How do you write dialogue in which the character is saying a letter? Ex: “They speak a language pretty similar to english, just the letter y is replaced with double es.” Bolded letters are where the ...
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3answers
128 views

How to give the voice expression of shouting as well as rhetorical question

While writing dialogue, I came across this confusion. There are some moments when the characters are deep in their thoughts (past troubling thoughts), and something happens that makes them flip-out. ...
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3answers
131 views

How can I specify the speaker in the dialogue without repeating the hero's name?

Let's say my character is Alex, a young man and an actor. I'm describing a long dialogue of him and another person. I need to specify he is a person speaking quite often so the reader is not confused ...
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1answer
140 views

Moving story forward via conversation in first person

Background I wrote a few paragraphs of a story, again as an assignment a little while ago, but now I plan on completing it. But there is a problem while I am writing. Unlike other short stories that ...
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4answers
296 views

How can I make a character's dialouge sound smart?

I have an intelligent character. He's basically there just for comic relief, but also helps the MC. One of the special things about him is his dialogue. He speaks usually out of annoyance, like when ...
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1answer
83 views

How to punctuate dialogue interupted by the same character's dialogue?

I understand how to punctuate dialogue interrupted by action. But there are two main examples of where I feel it's effective for the same character to interrupt their own dialogue. Example 1: ...
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8answers
2k views

Is italicizing parts of dialogue for emphasis ever appropriate?

Is it ever appropriate to use italics to emphasize parts of dialogue to show which words the speakers is putting emphasis on? I used to do this quite frequently, but I was told that this was a sign of ...
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1answer
64 views

"Just as well" - can/is this used sarcastically?

I'm having a discussion with another writer: in the story, a person is describing someone else's father's disappearance and possible death. They're trying to express bitter resignation and uses the ...

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