Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

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1answer
23 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
222 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
117 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
163 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
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4answers
456 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
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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
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3answers
105 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
1k 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
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0answers
68 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
68 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
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4answers
119 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
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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 ...
22
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6answers
4k views

Using font to highlight a god's speech in dialogue

At one point in my story, the characters are addressed by a god. In the ensuing dialogue, this god has a more archaic way of speaking, but even so, I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to visually ...
2
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2answers
138 views

Is it poor form to paraphrase well known authors in dialogue?

Sometimes a situation will suit a well known author's quote and I do like expressions. Someone joked that I had no shame in paraphrasing. Is this poor form and if so why?
3
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4answers
168 views

How do we distinguish how a character pronounces a word and how it is spelled in a dialogue?

How do we distinguish how a character pronounces a word and how it is spelled in a dialogue? For example, some people pronounce words in a different way than they should, how do you show that in a ...
8
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5answers
269 views

My scenes seem too fast

I’m having issues ‘cause while I’m in the process of writing I think my style has enough length to it, but when I go back and read my work it feels extremely fast. A scene I expected to take me ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

How to deal with foreign language in dialogue?

I'm writing a story about a little girl who got bit by an unknown snake species and is being treated for it. Out of the 3 snakebite victims, this little girl seems to have the best prognosis. Here is ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Ending a line of dialogue with “?!”: Allowed or obnoxious?

A dialogue of mine contains the following sentence: "You fired all three of them?!" Trouble is, I'm not sure I've ever seen a novel that used a question mark and an exclamation point together - it'...
0
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3answers
103 views

Literate Cherokee and English dialogue east of the Mississippi in the 1860s with a nineteenth century narrator [closed]

It is my understanding that the Cherokee, prior to the Trail of Tears were bilingual, being educated in both Cherokee and English. Is it possible that a Cherokee man in his late twenties would have ...
2
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2answers
227 views

Modernized dialogue in fantasy - stylistically untrue or clever genre subversion?

I find myself using words like "kiddo", "bullshit" and "badass" in the more comedic side of dialogue/thoughts in my fantasy novel. At first it was simply me not paying attention, and not caring as I ...
1
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1answer
54 views

Formatting a conversation

In a novel, how would one best represent a recorded conversation between two people played back to a larger audience? The normal rules apply regarding quotation marks and beginning a new paragraph ...
5
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2answers
116 views

Is it acceptable to punctuate and capitalize a dialogue tag like a separate sentence?

When a piece of writing has a quoted sentence followed by a dialogue tag, the sentence is usually ended with a comma (inside the quotation marks) and the dialogue tag is in sentence case, like this: ...
8
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3answers
919 views

Can we use other things than single-word verbs in our dialog tags?

"Albert, you're already drunk! Stop it!" she implored him. "Nah, if I stop drinking, I won't have an excuse to miss work tommorrow!" he joked around. I am wondering if it's possible to use ...
2
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2answers
99 views

Multiple lines of dialogue and action from a single character

I am in the middle of writing a scene between two characters, a cello player, Lisa and her friend from college, Jack. Lisa has recently lost her sight, and Jack is trying to encourage her back into ...
5
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2answers
115 views

Technical term for written dialogue that mimics the speaker's “sound”?

I'm wondering if there's a technical writing term for when an author uses purposefully misspelled words to mimic the sound of the speaker? This has the effect of "forcing" the reader to hear the ...
8
votes
1answer
869 views

What's the proper way of indicating that a car has reached its destination during a dialogue?

What's the proper way of indicating that a car has reached its destination during a dialogue? For example, two persons have a conversation, and they reach a destination, is there a standard way to do ...
4
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6answers
779 views

In a script how can I signal who's winning the argument?

Arguments, discussions, disagreements In my script I have a lot of "arguments" – loose definition: long discussions where characters disagree about what to do. These arguments don't escalate to a ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Can we have too many dialogue tags and follow up actions?

Can we have too many dialogue tags and follow up actions? I am trying to think of a situation where it might make sense to describe everything the people do while talking, but it also feels overkill, ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Do we have to introduce the character's name before using their names in a dialogue tag?

Do we have to introduce the character's name before using their names in a dialogue tag? I am wondering if we can use the names without saying it's a man or a woman, and then making the characters ...
14
votes
4answers
820 views

Has anyone ever written a novel or short story composed of only dialogue? [closed]

The participants describe everything needed for the story to continue, within the conversation. The environment, the emotions, everything. The reader gets to "see" it all through their words. Has it ...
6
votes
2answers
112 views

Developing a dialogue that unexpectedly leads to strong feelings between two strangers

A short story I'm writing involves a stage in which the male protagonist talks to a stranger with the intent of asking them to do a favor for his friend. I want them to start having strong feelings ...
9
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2answers
799 views

How would you write the dialogues of two characters talking in a chat room?

How would you write do the dialogues of two characters talking in a chat room? I am seriously wondering about the format. Should it look like regular dialogues, what about emoticons like OWO and ;) ...
9
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2answers
238 views

Using ”as” after dialogue tags

Should a comma be used after a dialogue tag and before the word ”as”. For example: ”I don’t like this at all, ” he said, as the door closed behind them. Or ”I don’t like this at all, ” he said ...
18
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6answers
2k views

Should you avoid redundant information after dialogue?

Should we avoid repeating redundant information after a dialogue and is there a way around this? Sometimes, you feel prompted to write the description of an action that follows a line, but that also ...
5
votes
3answers
126 views

When should a character refer his dad or someone close in third impersonal person?

When should a character refer his dad or someone close in third impersonal person? Let's say you have a character and his dad is the President of the United States. In what situation is it appropriate ...
15
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8answers
3k views

How can one write good dialogue in a story without sounding wooden?

I began an assignment to write a short story for a Creative Writing submission to a publication and although it was accepted, I found that I struggled with the addition of dialogue to this first-...
26
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4answers
5k views

How do we handle pauses in a dialogue?

How do we handle pauses in a dialogue? Let's say that character A speaks and then after a pause character A speaks again. How should we separate the two moments, should we write two lines of ...
8
votes
4answers
374 views

How do I apply Hemingway's dialogue techniques to my own writing?

I open Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises at random (chapter 9). 'I haven't seen you since I've been back,' Brett said. 'No.' 'How are you, Jake?' 'Fine.' Brett looked at me. 'I say,' she said, ...
3
votes
2answers
188 views

When should the dialogue reference be written, before or after the dialogue?

This might be a very trivial question but I don't know what to google to get an answer so asking anyways. In this dialogue; "I have such a miserable cold, your sarcastic remarks are hardly ...
3
votes
6answers
252 views

Can I use spoken English at some places over 'technically accurate English' in a general fiction?

I have written my novel as a 'first person singular' and in past tense. There are lot of times in it where I have written it as I will say it while speaking. I have used phrases which have implied ...
7
votes
2answers
118 views

Breaking dialogue with actions from another character

This can get... confusing, which is why I tend to avoid it, but sometimes, I really want it there. “What?!” [said Character B.] I laughed, giving her a minute to process my words. “You’re getting ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

How do you transcribe a dialogue when abbreviations are used?

How do you transcribe a dialogue when abbreviations are used? For example, when people uses acronyms like FBI or abbreviations like a.m., do we just write them as we write them when they're in a ...
1
vote
2answers
325 views

How to convert dialogue in to paragraph?

This is my first time writing a novel. In my novel, there is a part of the married life of my protagonist who is a woman. I don't have any experience of married life so I have taken inspiration from a ...
11
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5answers
273 views

Writing the dialogue of two travelers who dislike each other

I'm currently writing a journey-focused plot arc, and I'm struggling a bit with the character interactions. To give you some background, the protagonist is a lone wolf of sorts whose job is akin to a ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

Grammar of, in dialogue, someone quickly negating a previous word?

For example, let's say that someone says a word, but then immediately "corrects" it to a different word. Do you use a comma, an em dash, or what? In addition, if it's at the beginning of a ...
5
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5answers
180 views

I have a dialogue that I can't write directly. What would be a good alternative?

My attempt at the current writing challenge features a flock of sparrows. Since the actual "dialogue" between two sparrows would sound like a bunch of cheeping, I need another way to show what they'...
11
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7answers
340 views

Too eloquent characters

Here's a critique I've received more than once: "your character talks like a character from a book. He's too eloquent, nobody really talks like that, unless they grew up in a library." Now, to some ...
11
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7answers
974 views

Should I “tell” my exposition or give it through dialogue?

When my work was being critiqued, one of the critics said that the exposition given away in my dialogue was forced and unnatural. Though, this exposition is crucial, so leaving it out is out of the ...
18
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9answers
5k views

Can non-English-speaking characters use wordplay specific to English?

Would it be jarring if in an original (non-translated) story, the characters, who don't speak English in-universe, use "untranslatable" wordplay/puns that are specific to English? By "untranslatable" ...