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Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

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1answer
81 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
3
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4answers
242 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
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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
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2answers
83 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
105 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
81 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
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3answers
57 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 ...
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1answer
39 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 ...
7
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2answers
88 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
62 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 ...
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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
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4answers
809 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. ...
7
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3answers
106 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
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1answer
75 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
114 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
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1answer
56 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
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2answers
88 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 ...
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0answers
24 views

Background Dialogue [duplicate]

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 ...
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0answers
60 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
207 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
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1answer
122 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
491 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
298 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 ...
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5answers
6k 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
170 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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2answers
151 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
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3answers
269 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
249 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
90 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
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2answers
134 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 ...
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vote
1answer
90 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
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1answer
65 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

They must have dialogue each day, or, they must dialogue each day? [closed]

Which is correct? They must have dialogue each day, or, they should dialogue each day?
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4answers
440 views

How to describe something visual in preparation of said visual?

I'm working on a video game with visual novel style "cutscenes" inbetween, where you see characters talking, usually from the torso up. Most of the things you'd normally describe in text-only media ...
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2answers
331 views

Colloquial speech in pre-modern setting

Following this question, I'm struggling with writing the speech of pre-modern (in my case - 5th century) noble-born children among themselves. Characters who are well-educated would not be making ...
9
votes
6answers
264 views

Describing an important emotional turmoil in the character's life I've never been through

I have this young character who grows up to be very strong and powerful but while he was young he was still discovering how strong he was. This incident happened to a friend he's protective of. When ...
30
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10answers
8k views

How to write dialogue for someone who is intelligent but barely speaks the language?

I have a character who is a refugee from another country. She comes to the protagonist, and they have a couple of scenes together, viewed from the protagonist. I read about how important it is to ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

What is the correct way to switch dialogue between two or more characters during a conversation without it being confusing for the reader? [duplicate]

When I use dialogue within the stories I write I have a bad habit of writing dialogue after dialogue without indication as to who is talking. An example is when I do this in a story “Arden! Darling,...
4
votes
3answers
109 views

How to write an online screen name in dialogue?

Might be a bit nitpicky - but I really want to get the formatting correct - especially because this is one of the first lines in the script. The screen name is: ArgyleMan29 Like this? JACK: Online I’...
8
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7answers
853 views

Breaking up a talky piece of writing

Dialogue is my favorite thing to write. I tend to use a lot of dialogue in my writing, which sometimes results in long, talky passages -- a bit similar to this question about breaking up exposition. ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Dialogue from a distance? [duplicate]

There’s a Quadbike going down a hill, the two people on the quad are talking, but you can’t see their mouths move. You know it’s them talking as you saw them talk before and know their voices... my ...
3
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2answers
95 views

Dialogue from a distance

How do I indicate dialogue 'from a distance'? Two characters and riding down a field on a quad bike, one asks a question of the other, who answers. They're visible but you can't see their lips move. ...
5
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3answers
77 views

Scrivener 3 capitalization issue with dialogue tags

I just a typed this piece of diaglogue in Scrivener 3.0.2 (1504) “Certainly.”, she replied cheerfully and vanished. Scrivener is auto-correcting/auto-captializing (not sure which) 'She' as shown ...
4
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2answers
105 views

My life story is in first person, does it have to have dialogue?

I have started a story of my life in the first person. Do I have to have dialogue? Or would it be very boring without it?
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2answers
489 views

What are methods to refer to something that happened but did not make it onto the page?

As writers we're supposed to know more about our stories than the words that make it onto the page. Can a character refer to something that happened, but happened off-page? As the writer, I know that ...
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9answers
3k views

Referencing modern pop culture in science fiction

A geek today is quite likely to reference the pop culture of 30 years ago: "Do or do not, there is no try", "Beam me up, Scotty" and "Ground control to Major Tom" are easily and commonly recognisable. ...
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1answer
84 views

How to balance between dialogue & character building and action scenes?

I'm writing a novel which takes place in a carefully built (science-)fictional world. The protagonist is also a fictional creature. Obviously, the reader does not know about the world or the creature'...