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Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

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5answers
84 views

Elongated vowel sounds

When we speak sometimes we draw out certain sounds for emphasis. We also see this technique in song, for both emphasis as well as expanding the meter to make the words fit a certain rhythm. One way ...
8
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10answers
3k views

The difference between dialogue marks

Most authors use dialogue in writing, especially when writing fiction. Now, if I remember my first grade primary school correctly, dialogue can be directly separated from narration in a number of ways....
18
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5answers
4k views

Why do professional authors make “consistency” mistakes? And how to avoid them?

I'm currently reading a sci-fi book that has over a dozen characters. The author had written dialog for two different characters using the same odd idiom in two separate chapters so far. I cannot see ...
28
votes
13answers
8k views

Writing in a Christian voice

I'm Jewish. My middle-grade fantasy novel is very Jewish. Most of my characters are either Jews or converts/future converts or people with at least one Jewish grandparent. But some are not. My ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

How do we distinguish someone talking to another person via telepathy rather than via vocal means? [duplicate]

In my sci-fi novel, some people have the ability to talk via telepathy so how do we distinguish telepathy from other types of communication? I would like to do it, because it's not the same, and I ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

How do we properly show that a person is talking at the same time as something or someone else? [duplicate]

I am not sure how to best handle this, do we skip over a part of the dialogue? When a person is cut, he can resume, but it's not the same thing for a TV. Anyway, here's an example: The TV blurted ...
34
votes
10answers
8k views

My story is written in English, but is set in my home country. What language should I use for the dialogue?

I'm an amateur writer from the Philippines. I am writing a novelette for an international writing contest. My story is written in English, but is set here, in my country, with my POV character being ...
4
votes
2answers
79 views

Dialect resources for early/mid 20th Century Midwestern American speech

I'm setting the book I'm writing in the 1900s ~ 1950s, in the central states of the US: Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. I'm having difficulty getting the language for narration and dialogue ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Tool for editing dialogue of each character

I would like to edit all of the dialogue of a specific character in my book. Then I want to repeat this for other characters. I think this would help to give each of them a unique voice. Of course I ...
24
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7answers
5k views

How do we objectively assess if a dialogue sounds unnatural or cringy?

By unnatural, I don't mean ungrammatical, but something people wouldn't really say. For example, in many fictions, you find yourself in very weird situations and it's hard to know how a person would ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

How would we write a misogynistic character without offending people?

In a short story I am writing, I have this misogynistic character who keeps saying misogynistic stuff, and I thought it would be a bad idea to give him dialogue lines. I was thinking that, because I ...
4
votes
5answers
82 views

How can I write an annoying character without annoying the reader?

My story has a group of five refugees traveling across the kingdom. One of them is preachy and pretty much useless (unused to physical labor, trying to convert the heathens in the group). She's ...
11
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6answers
2k views

Writing dialogues for characters whose first language is not English

I am seriously wondering how to go about writing dialogues for characters whose native language isn't English and who aren't very fluent in English. It's very hard, because people have different ...
4
votes
7answers
135 views

Showing friendship between people of different ranks - maintain formality, or drop it?

There is a prince. (Or some other person of high rank.) And there is that prince's good friend, who, naturally, holds a somewhat lower rank. There are two ways I could show the close relationship ...
17
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5answers
4k views

Protagonist constantly has to have long words explained to her. Will this get tedious?

A while back, I redrafted my NaNoWriMo 2017 story, but it still needs another draft. This question is about one of the concerns I have. The story takes place in a medieval fantasy setting, and the ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Adapting dialogue from a novel into a screenplay

I would like to adapt a novel I wrote into a screenplay, and I was wondering if there are things to take into consideration before taking the dive. The novel doesn't have a lot of dialogue and I think ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Adding lines to a video game script to futureproof a project [closed]

Sometimes, video game development can go awry, so I want to add extra lines in case there's a decision to add generic questlines and new game mechanics. So how do you come up with a lot of lines that ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Showing that a character is in pain in a dialogue

Do you add pauses? Do you add interjection? Which ones? Do you misspell certain words? What are some of the tricks writers use? I don't want to say it in the descriptive passage. I want people to feel ...
5
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5answers
405 views

Writing the dialogues of characters who are much smarter than you

A.I. should have perfect English, but because they are mainly servants, they should be easily understood. Cyborgs, on the other hand, not necessarily, because they're augmented humans, but some ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Ensuring that character dialogues sound like they are coming from different people

I am wondering if I should make the female characters speak in a different way compared to male characters, and I am wondering how to make sure they all sound different. What are some strategies, ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

How to incorporate a silent protagonist into a chatty world?

You see this a lot in video games: a silent protagonist who can somehow communicate with the rest of the world with seemingly no or few words. Usually, it's hand-waved away by simply assuming from the ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Writing a dialogue with a lot of ellipses

Is there a way to do this properly? Roxas... I need you... to do me a favor. All those hearts that I've captured... Kingdom Hearts... Set them free. This is from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and I ...
2
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2answers
90 views

Advice on how to beat word repetition in dialogue [duplicate]

Long story short: I default to simple words like "Said" in dialogue much too often. I'm hesitant to abuse the thesaurus due to advice I've been given, as well. Slightly longer version: When I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
61 views

Could I have some characters reveal more internal monologue than others?

For context, I am writing a graphic novel. I always used to imagine I would have some characters (mainly protagonists) reveal their internal monologue while others (mainly the antagonists) don't. They ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Confused about when to treat something as a dialogue tag

Background: I'm helping a friend edit their fiction. I'm frequently left confused on anything related to dialogue tags. “Yes, but I mean no,” Steve stumbles over his words. “Not the come home ...
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2answers
89 views

How to punctuate dialogue tags with action descriptions

Someone told me that it's incorrect or outdated punctuation to put a comma after "said" in dialogue tags such as the following (from an old book we're reprinting): “I shouldn’t wonder if you could ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

How should tv broadcast dialogue be formatted in a story?

Supposing a character or characters are watching a show on TV (news maybe) how should that be formatted in the text? I've found some explanations on how to format TV broadcasts in a screenplay (in ...
10
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5answers
2k views

Should I start a new paragraph after a dialogue if the action is being taken by a new person?

I am currently editing an original work of fiction, and one of the things I'm having the most trouble with is dialogue and paragraphs after certain character's actions. I know it sounds a little ...
9
votes
4answers
815 views

What is a good way to handle lengthy monologues/lectures in a novel?

In my novel, the MC is a woman from London who gets divorced and moves to Wales. Here she meets a Buddhist master with whom she has philosophical conversations about Life, Love, Relationships, etc. ...
8
votes
3answers
117 views

Different methods of incorporating Korean into English text [duplicate]

I have a Korean character in the novel I'm working on, and it is fairly important to the plot that she has some dialogue in Korean. Korean isn't a language where you can say what you see, if you ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Punctuating dialogue that is interrupted by thoughts/internal monologue rather than action?

So I've got a bit: Alta blinked. She pushed on, smiling, “—the argument. When the argument succeeds, which I still don’t fully deem, even after that—it looks to me like you’ve still got to do all ...
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8answers
9k views

How to avoid turning dialogue into Q&A session?

I noticed a problem I have in my fictional writing. My dialogues quickly turn into interrogations. Here is an exaggerated example. "How did you do it?" he asked. "..." "Will it kill us ...
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votes
4answers
125 views

Should I change my method of indicating internal monologue (parenthesis) to something more conventional?

I am writing a fantasy novella that ends up using a lot of internal monologues, often mixed with dialogue, descriptions, and other character's monologues. For example, this excerpt from the first ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Is this attribution clear and sufficient?

My characters are well read and some like to recite poetry. My MC is particularly fond of Paradise Lost and is known to quote a few lines here and there. In one scene he is thinking some of the lines ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Secondary Dialogue

When writing a novel how would one best represent background dialogue from a radio or television that is perhaps only half heard by the characters but still important for the reader? Should I have the ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Hooking the Reader. Feedback Needed [closed]

I am writing a new adult urban fantasy novel. The following is the beginning of my current book: My hand gripped her fragile, human arm. Her warm energy waited just beneath her skin. I stared down ...
3
votes
3answers
212 views

How to include detailed, long dialog in a narrative written about a few events taking place over many months

A narrator is writing a letter about the last 6 months of his father's life, a narrative which includes around 5 individual scenes, some of which have extensive back and forth dialog. How should the ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

How many times should I mention a character's name when the interactions are among the same sex?

So, most of my main protagonists are female, and the usual him/her doesn't work when dealing with multiple females (or males, for that matter.) So, how would I make dialogue flow without mentioning ...
2
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5answers
497 views

Writing compelling dialogue [duplicate]

I try to avoid repeating the prosaic "he said", "she said" structure as much as possible when writing dialogue. But I think overload of complex descriptors "he articulated", "he intoned" is ...
4
votes
3answers
574 views

How to write a character speaking in broken english? [duplicate]

I found a slightly similar question from 2014 on here but a lot of the answers weren't helpful in my case (as they brought up points of the internet and such) so I'm going to try here... In my ...
7
votes
5answers
7k views

How to simulate someone talking with a full mouth?

If, for example, someone said : "How are you today?", how would you go about "translating" this into sounding like they were talking with a full-mouth? Like, phonetically.
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Expressing shock a character feels - is the F word appropriate?

I have a character who has been under stress, both at home and at work. His business is struggling and he was negotiating a complex contract and had the complication of members of the families of the ...
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votes
2answers
162 views

Why are Americans obsessed with acronyms, abreviations and initials? [closed]

If anybody has an answer to this question I'd love to hear it. And, yes, it is on topic because I've used the obsession in a story. Here's the thing . . . There's a difference between text and ...
8
votes
3answers
304 views

How to give characters a unique voice

When writing dialogue all the characters sound the same. I'm not sure I even know what giving a character a voice means, but my dialogue sucks so any advice will be greatly appreciated.
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Writing part word

If I'm writing a dialog and my character get interrupted and cut off in the middle of a sentence can I write half a word and put three dots? I thought it was okay to do this, but I realized that I ...
7
votes
5answers
267 views

Foreign language dialogue in Middle Grade fiction

I have written the first draft of a Middle Grade detective adventure in the vein of Enid Blyton's Famous Five or Astrid Lindgren's Bill Bergson. In my novel, the protagonist, a boy from England, is on ...
3
votes
3answers
120 views

How do I create dialog when the story is told in letters by the protagonist? [closed]

I am writing a historical novel, and the gist of it that these will be letters found by ancestors in the 21st century. Just reading letters is boring, though, and I need to interject conversations ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

Alternatives to starting a sentence with well [closed]

I'm new to narrative writing and especially have trouble with dialogue. I too often am using the word well to start a character's sentence after receiving some information to then ask a question about ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

How should I write dialogue for a teenager, in a historic setting? [duplicate]

My story is set in ancient Sumer, and I have a teenage (side) character who has a typical temperament meant to evoke his age. Had the setting been more modern, I would have had him use slurred ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Dialogue in First Person Fiction (Detective Mystery) [closed]

Karl is my detective protagonist. His girlfriend, Jenna, is with him. He is hospitalized, and his boss, Rob Tucker, shows up for a visit. Which example of dialogue is correct? In true first person, ...