Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

6
votes
2answers
81 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
65 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
121 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
votes
5answers
221 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
102 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
152 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
votes
7answers
265 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
votes
7answers
887 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
votes
10answers
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" ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

Why is the construct “'hello' says Pete” most common?

I am asking this from the point of a reader not a writer and just wondering why, so sorry if this is a bad place. I read loads of books to my kids and the construct always seems to go: "What a day,...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Writing slurred speech

One of my characters gets drunk and accidentally kills another. He has a couple of lines where he needs to sound obnoxiously, falling-down drunk. Is there a good way to accomplish this? What sounds ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Using too much dialogue?

I'm working on a novel of my own and, looking back at the bits of it I have so far brought into light, that almost everything in it is dialogue. Is this a bad thing? How could I fix this if it is?
13
votes
5answers
6k views

Writing “hahaha” versus describing the laugh

When posting an excerpt of my book on a critiquing site, someone commented on my use of "hahaha" inside the dialogue instead of just having a laughing verb after or before it. They said it took them ...
0
votes
4answers
121 views

How would you write dialog in a 1st person story?

I'm a novice writer working on my first book. I've made the story 1st person from the perspective of the main character. The way I've been writing dialog goes as such: C1: "So, where are you guys ...
8
votes
1answer
83 views

Character Accents

When writing dialogue how should one tackle accents? Changing the spelling for certain words (V for W in German) is effective but may come off a little cheesy. Then again, not doing this might cause ...
2
votes
3answers
72 views

How to write the action of someone reading in a story? An example, please

I am rather a very amateur writer, who is trying to write a thriller/fiction novel for a class, and I find myself absolutely dumbfounded as to how to write into my story the action of a character ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Saying something reluctantly dialogue tag or 'said' synonym?

For example, I'm rewriting a sex scene and my current dialogue and subsequent dialogue tag is: Almost reluctantly, he said, “Okay, I'll pull out now.” "Hinted" is a bit too straightforward, and I ...
4
votes
4answers
131 views

How to write Arabic in dialogue for an English piece?

I have a character who is a Syrian refugee to Canada. His first language is Arabic, but he's lived in Canada long enough that he's learned English and uses this as his primary spoken language. On ...
5
votes
5answers
99 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
votes
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....
19
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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
49 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
93 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
85 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
146 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
votes
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
98 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
votes
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
178 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
votes
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
43 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
86 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
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 ...
5
votes
5answers
419 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
126 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
110 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
votes
2answers
95 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
66 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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
votes
2answers
100 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
165 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
votes
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
825 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
125 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
113 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 ...
65
votes
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 ...