Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

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2
votes
1answer
25 views

How are the limits of regional vernacularism/slang should be employed in a novel that is true to the area and time?

What's an acceptable amount of non-standard English that can be used to depict the language of a certain area of the South (Louisiana) without turning off readers? My current work in progress has ...
1
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1answer
77 views

How can you add light, quirky, humor or sarcasm into dialog?

Looking back at my book, I'm realizing how flat the dialog is. I'm not known for being funny and I don't consider myself naturally funny, so this is hard for me. How can I make the characters talk to ...
0
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1answer
50 views

Will a copyeditor refine both dialogue and plot?

I am a big-picture kinda guy. I have ideas and I love details, but I hate to get stuck up in the microscopic level grunt work - managing accents, tones and environment details that are not so central ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Use of commas with non-dialogue-tag verbs before and after dialogue

I've recently found myself second guessing a convention I've followed for a while where with a piece of dialogue, for instance: "Hurry home" came down the front stairs behind her. I'm ...
0
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0answers
37 views

Starting a sentence with a past verb? [migrated]

I am a spanish speaker, and the last night I watched the movie "The Silencing". There, some characters used expressions such as: "Realized I did not like to let animals suffer" In ...
2
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1answer
77 views

How do you format dialogue within a parargraph?

He made his way over to the crimson red telephone box that basked in the afternoon sunlight. Ted knew she was hiding in there. “You can come out now." He swung open the door, with a callous look ...
3
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5answers
156 views

How to write a character with an accent

One of my characters is Russian and speaks English as a second language. I know that people with Russian accents tend to leave out words like “the” and “a” because they don’t exist in Russian. My ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Realistically writing culture shock for this character?

I wanted help writing a character for my setting. Basically, in this story I’m writing, I have a character named Christina. Basically, she lived in an underground bunker, in a post-apocalyptic world, ...
5
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6answers
2k views

A smooth way to make Dialogue

I am an amateur fiction writer and a key feature in most of my pieces is dialogue. There are often 6-12 characters in the exciting scenes and a lot of the content depends on who said what and how the ...
10
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4answers
2k views

How can I write complex and believable characters?

How do I write characters that are more grounded, complex and believable so that readers can resonate with them and makes my novel more compelling? How should I elaborate their dialogues and actions ...
3
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2answers
156 views

How to create unique dialogue for characters? [duplicate]

So, one of my problems is that I have trouble giving my characters unique voices. They usually all sound the same. I may say that they have a certain dialect or accent, but it doesn't come through in ...
14
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10answers
3k views

I'm writing a prologue from the POV of a non-English-speaking character. How should I write the dialogue?

Picturing this in movie form would be easy. I would have the character speak their native language in the scene and place subtitles. But I do not have this luxury in writing. It would be weird to ...
0
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1answer
54 views

Punctuation in direct speech with multiple sentences

The information I found on using punctuation marks in direct speech did not address doing so with multiple sentences. For example, I want to write four sentences with direct speech with reporting ...
4
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3answers
90 views

How can I show a character's emotions through a phone call?

When writing face-to-face dialogue, I like to give clues as to what the non-POV character is thinking and feeling through their actions. Not all the time, but whenever it feels appropriate. They might ...
3
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4answers
121 views

How to make a weak character fight in major battle [closed]

My character is about to fight someone that really strong but he believes that he is still weak. So how can i force him to fight. (For plus note: i make a fantasy story like magic and stuff)
5
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2answers
130 views

How to write a POC explaining to a bullied child that dark skin isn't bad

I'm writing a scene where the skin tone of an adult person of color (POC) is brought up in conversation. The POC has the nickname "Ghost" and another character asks if it's ironic like "Tiny" etc. (...
1
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2answers
133 views

How can I write dialogue to show arrogance?

In a series I am currently writing, the protagonist grew up in a big detective family, causing her to know a lot about the detective's world. How can I write her dialogue to show she's a knows it all?...
2
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4answers
156 views

How do I write characters that aren't just a copy of myself?

I am finding it difficult to create fictional characters with personalities that are not a copy of myself. I'm having trouble trying to understand what others a character would do in certain ...
0
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0answers
52 views

Em-dashes and interrupting one's own dialogue within the same quote

I am looking for an example of a specific dialogue interruption case. I've been putting a following space my entire life, an editor just told me it doesn't belong, neither of us can cite a guide ...
0
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0answers
32 views

How to show a stutter in dialogue? [duplicate]

I have seen different ways of showing a stutter in dialogue - an em dash, just saying it was stuttered, etc. What other ways of showing a stutter are there?
3
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6answers
184 views

How to improve my Dialogue Writing?

This is one area of writing that I find myself struggling a lot. I usually divide my chapters into scenes and each scene has a goal(s) that I have to achieve. And I have found that even though I know ...
2
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4answers
90 views

Do you include punctuation when a character cuts off in dialogue?

So I have a question concerning punctuation. Let's say that Character A is talking to Character B. Character A, like most people, doesn't always speak in complete sentences (think about when people ...
2
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4answers
124 views

Looking for a better word than “Yikes”

I'm trying to find the right word to use in a (serious) comic I'm writing. The character is an eighteen year old American girl, talking to some older women who she's just met. Suddenly, in mid-...
1
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3answers
123 views

Writing mumbled speech

I've got a character that mumbles, and I'd like good advice on how to write his dialogue. He isn't a POV character, and I won't give him too much dialogue that would make the reading tedious, but it's ...
8
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4answers
190 views

How do I write dialogue as heard by a POV character who isn't fluent in the language?

So I'm writing a story during the course of which my main, first-person-POV character learns another language, one used heavily in her surrounding. This generally works, but I regularly get stuck on ...
0
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2answers
97 views

How can improve my non-existent skills at writing dialogue?

I've thought for years that I was terrible at writing dialogue and any "dialogue" I've written would make the likes of George Lucas or Ehren Kruger burst out in gut-busting laughter at how ...
3
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2answers
97 views

Screenplay dialogue tags for unintroduced characters

I am writing a screenplay for a TV show in which a character who will become important later in the series has a line of dialogue in the opening scene. However, he is offscreen and will not be ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Is the punctuation of my dialogue in this novel section correct? [closed]

I am just starting out my novel, if I can get this quotation punctuation correctly it'll massively help me throughout the book, I need your help! “In six months time Vledos Manis will be leaving ...
3
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1answer
72 views

How can I introduce my antagonist's misdeeds and master plan to my protagonists?

I'm writing a story where the antagonist is motivated by lust, and has successfully engaged in predatory behavior, the antagonist is attempting to become a powerful mage in order to solidify his ...
3
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3answers
100 views

Italicizing dialogue punctuation

I know CMOS 17 section 6.2 says, "All punctuation marks should appear in the same font—roman or italic—as the main or surrounding text, except for punctuation that belongs to a title in a different ...
1
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2answers
164 views

How would I write a squeal?

I've seen answers that are just AHHHH! or AAAHHHHH! if the character is frightened, but what if the character is excited? I've also seen people put an exaggerated "SQEEEEE" for excited but I don't ...
0
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0answers
48 views

How to write a character with a bipolar personality?

I need some help. I am already deep into 2 stories that involve composers and in both stories there is a character based on Ludwig van Beethoven. Here is what I have trouble getting across: Friendly ...
1
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1answer
58 views

How to translate written shorthand to dialogue

I have a character who's going to answer a question with "Either/or." She pronounces it simply either or, but I know some people pronounce the slash itself sometimes. How do I indicate explicitly how ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

How to punctuate dialogue interrupted by action

I am writing a novel and I am trying to find the best write a person being interrupted in speech by something they see. Example is below: Fahad is the person talking and as he talks he sees a vicious ...
0
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3answers
63 views

What tense should the dialogues be in a first person singular write-ups?

I am writing my novel in first person singular in the past tense as narrated by the protagonist. So obviously the narrative is in past tense, but I am confused about how to write dialogue, whether it ...
7
votes
5answers
842 views

Questions with flat tone in dialogue

I'm sure we have all heard people say questions without putting the tone inflection on the end. I am writing a novel and I have a piece of dialogue where a character says: “Why are you here.” ...
2
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6answers
109 views

Which should come first, speech or speaker?

Example: I said "Go Away" versus: "Go Away", I said. Which should come first? I am writing medieval fantasy and stumbled across this problem. Speakers tend to speak a whole paragraph at times,...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

How to get across pain more effectively in my story?

I have been writing a story about a young pianist living with the great composers. After the composers have a meeting, it is decided that Mozart should be her first teacher. My main character's name ...
1
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3answers
264 views

Examples of dialog beats and bookism

I was wondering if there is a list of ideas on how to add beats to dialog. For example: "Listen to me!", John said excitedly. "We can sell all these coins now and get rich today." He got closer ...
1
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6answers
168 views

Can I mix one character's dialogue with another's POV in the same paragraph?

I'm struggling trying to write a scene (fiction novel). I want to know if it would be confusing to write it this way: Paul shook his head, yanked away. “Sure it is, Mike. You left me there,” he ...
-1
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4answers
251 views

Intentionally misspelling words in dialogue

I have a piece of dialogue which sounds great in my head, and the way the character says it is important, but it never looks right when I type it out. At first I tried this: “Looking and looking... ...
4
votes
4answers
639 views

Is a new paragraph line needed in dialogue when a character responds with actions?

For example: "Move!" I immediately side stepped him. OR "Move!" I immediately side stepped him. I know a new line of paragraph is needed for each speaker, but does the same rule apply in this ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the rules for punctuating a conversation?

Are there hard and fast rules for characters speaking to each other? As far as quotations, or without them? Are they hinged inside a paragraph or ruled to only be in a talking string?
4
votes
3answers
221 views

Recounting events in dialogue

In my story, the MC goes through a number of events with a common theme, each told in separate scenes. At the end of the story, he tells a friend about the things he experienced. Both the events and ...
11
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4answers
2k views

How do you use the interjection for snorting?

How do you use the interjection for snorting? I was told that "snort" is an onomatopoeia, but I disagree. "Haha" and "Heh heh" would be onomatopoeia, because they are pronounced the way they are ...
9
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6answers
3k views

Should you only use colons and full stops in dialogues?

Should you only use colons and full stops in dialogues? I thought about using a semi-colon in one of my dialogues, but I had second thought about it, because when we talk, we don't really ...
2
votes
0answers
73 views

Alternatives to develop relationships without dialogue [closed]

I have to come up with an idea (this is an assignment) for a story between 1 or 2 characters without dialogue and with a length of 90 seconds, so I know it's totally possible, however, when it comes ...
3
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2answers
79 views

Switching languages within dialogue [duplicate]

I'm writing a story which requires frequent switching between languages, sometimes in the same sentence. I thought about writing the foreign language in italics, but the problem is that I already use ...
5
votes
5answers
150 views

Is there a better way to introduce acronyms through a dialogue?

Is there a better way to introduce acronyms through a dialogue? One way of doing it, is to mention what the acronym stands for at the beginning and then use the acronym afterward, but that's a bit ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

How do we know if a dialogue sounds unnatural without asking for feedback?

I wrote a dialogue, but I am not sure if it sounds natural. I try to keep dialogue super simple so that it doesn't feel unnatural, but aside from that, I am not sure if there's any golden rule I can ...

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