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Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

2
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1answer
43 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
82 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
57 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
196 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
108 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
votes
5answers
477 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
124 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
5k 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
149 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 ...
-5
votes
2answers
142 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
246 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
77 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
233 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
82 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
119 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
88 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
57 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
48 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?
6
votes
4answers
437 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
257 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
votes
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
80 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
107 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
votes
7answers
845 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
35 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
votes
2answers
91 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
votes
3answers
63 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
votes
2answers
72 views

My Life Story in the 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? Thank you
14
votes
2answers
482 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 ...
17
votes
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. ...
2
votes
1answer
79 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'...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Any software for video game non-linear story design?

Is there any software for making non-linear story or dialogues? I tried MS Word/Google Docs but that's not good for dialogues. In one complicated dialogue I wrote in Google Drawings, it looks like ...
3
votes
3answers
99 views

Trying to figure out the correct type punctuation for dialogues

I'm currently writing a story so far is going well, but I reached I point on the story where I don't know how to proceed. when a character is talking I write their dialogue just like this: "I went ...
8
votes
1answer
160 views

How to write a discussion amongst 5 people while narrating a novel as first person singular?

I am writing an autobiographical novel and there is a scene where 5 people will be discussing a subject matter. Now, how can I write the discussion without making it sound like a newbie like I want to ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

A novel in which the only dialogue is internal? [closed]

I am mulling the idea of writing a novel in which the only dialogue is internal. Has anyone yet published such a novel? I define "dialogue" here as any kind of speech addressed by a fictional person ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

For a musical script, how much stage direction in relation to dialogue should there be? [closed]

I'm having trouble getting to the page number I want for a musical I'm writing and would appreciate some advice!
8
votes
5answers
604 views

Using questions in dialog to facilitate exposition

What are the guidelines on using questions in dialog (between ignorant characters) to expose setting and backstory? A few exchanges between my characters seem to fall flat. I'm trying to sort out ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Indent dialogue to make text look less blocky

I am writing a story but I am trying to indent the dialog because right now it looks like a chunk of text. My text is Then a figure under the box moved behind Professor to which John yelled “...
5
votes
4answers
619 views

How to break up dialog if some of the dialog is not in quotes?

I have a technical question. In my story, I've several chunks of dialog where one character's response is a grunt or a groan or rude sound or a swear word, or whatever, but is not in quotes. As a ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Can I make a character make a philosophic observation or say their opinion, even if it's unnecessary for the plot/story?

I have a character in my story who has the habit of making philosophic observations about life and the functioning of things, or his opinion/vision about something. Although most of his observations ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How to avoid pages of dialogue?

I'm starting my story with my protagonist found (by the police), bleeding at a crime scene. When he wakes up, he has no recollection i.e. he's lost his memory. He's interrogated by two Inspectors, ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Dialogue alternatives questions [duplicate]

When writing dialogue, what are some good alternatives to writing "he said" "she said" all the time?
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Is shaking of the head positive or negative?

When you say a character shook their head, does that mean they nodded, as in "yes", or they shook it sideways, signifying the answer is "no?"
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Using a pronoun outside of quotations to refer to a person mentioned in quotations who hasn't been introduced yet

Would the line: "Peter!" cried his father. make grammatical sense? It seems to work intuitively, but I'm just not sure. It's also a tough question to google, as it turns out, so any reply would be ...
27
votes
10answers
4k views

Using colloquialisms the reader may not be familiar with

I'm from Ireland, most of my stories take place in Ireland, and many of my characters will speak with Irish accents and/or dialects to varying degrees. For the most part I think this is OK, and can ...
3
votes
2answers
242 views

Sorkin: “Dialog is music” - In what way(s)?

I recently watched Aaron Sorkin's Masterclass on screenwriting. One frustrating section of it (overall it's quite good, IMHO) is about dialog, and Sorkin says that dialog is important, it can't be ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Is there any screenplay which is widely considered by screenwriters to be perfectly written?

Is there one Screenplay that is an example of being perfectly written by the majority of screenwriters that they keep at the ready to refer to while writing their own works? I was hoping to learn of ...
11
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7answers
3k views

Is there a dialog tag for when someone is saying something in awe?

I'm looking for a dialog tag for when someone is in awe and saying something along the lines of "oooooo!" or "wooooooow!" "Oooooooo!" they ______ed. Does it exist? If so, what is it?
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a way to explain how a character said a word sarcastically without dialog tags?

I have a character who is a talking shovel. He's arguing with another character and criticizing them. "Oh! And let me take a wild guess—you’ve probably asked the people who live around the jungle ...