Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
1answer
56 views

How to punctuate dialogue interupted by the same character's dialogue?

I understand how to punctuate dialogue interrupted by action. But there are two main examples of where I feel it's effective for the same character to interrupt their own dialogue. Example 1: ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Is italicizing parts of dialogue for emphasis ever appropriate?

Is it ever appropriate to use italics to emphasize parts of dialogue to show which words the speakers is putting emphasis on? I used to do this quite frequently, but I was told that this was a sign of ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

“Just as well” - can/is this used sarcastically?

I'm having a discussion with another writer: in the story, a person is describing someone else's father's disappearance and possible death. They're trying to express bitter resignation and uses the ...
6
votes
7answers
143 views

How to keep a story interesting when it's mostly dialogue?

I've realized that most of the short stories I've been writing recently are almost entirely dialog. The stories hinge on relationships between characters and associated conflicts, so it felt natural ...
5
votes
6answers
431 views

How can I write dialogue inside a dialogue?

I am writing a story where one person A is narrating a story to B. In the story, there are conversations between characters, C and D, of the story. How do I then write the dialogue between A and B and ...
3
votes
2answers
43 views

How to a describe a character that is not remotely human?

I am writing a story that involves a creature that is specifically not humanoid. Instead of appearing as a human, it is more of ageless energy that exists in the core of a planet, can communicate with ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Child's Point of View [duplicate]

I'm writing in the first person from a child's point of view. Is this too complex for an eight-year-old? My feet tingled. It’s one thing to have an agent come and watch the show, but now the one ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Point of View Question on First Person

I'm currently writing from 1st point of view, and I understand that since the character's viewpoint is limited, I can't talk about other characters' actions and reactions unless she sees it. My ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Different dialogues for inner thoughts

Whenever I write inner thoughts I do something like: What is she thinking?, Maria thought. I find myself using the word thought, think, or wonder a lot when writing inner thoughts. Is there a way to ...
1
vote
3answers
74 views

Should I change or break up a long quote?

In the book I am writing, I have ran into a small problem. One character is retelling an event to a different character, but It's a somewhat longer explanation than I thought it would be. I'm happy ...
3
votes
6answers
157 views

How to keep it clear which character is speaking in a long dialog?

I'm trying to write a long dialog with multiple exchanges between characters. How can I keep it clear which character is speaking without filling the story without repeating 'he said/she said'. ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Explicit language in YA fiction

I'm writing a YA novel where most of the characters are in their teens or early 20's. One of my characters has some "colorful" language in certain situations, (e.g. she twists her ankle, ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Using non-say dialogue tags

Since I took up writing as a hobby, I've learnt that it's recommended to only use "say" and "ask" as dialogue tags, and to skip even these if the attribution can be supplied in ...
1
vote
3answers
99 views

Using minimal amount of dialogue to introduce two characters but still move the story along

I have always struggled with writing dialogue between my characters in my historical fiction novel. So, when it is possible to avoid dialogue, I avoid it. In the scenario I am writing, I have 2 ...
2
votes
5answers
213 views

How to write natural-sounding dialogue?

Writing dialogue for my novel has proved to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. It all seems clunky and unnatural. Any tips for writing natural sounding dialogue?
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Developing Voice for a Third Person Narrator and Multiple Characters

I'm currently working on what I hope to be a near final draft of my first ever novel. Something I've struggled with through this writing process is developing a voice for my narrator as well as my ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

How to get across to the reader a character’s prophetic abilities

My protagonist is speaking to my interpretation of the three fates from Greek mythology. He doubts their abilities until one of them echoes his every word as, or an instant before, he utters them. How ...
5
votes
4answers
103 views

Showing one word hesitation due to fright in dialogue

I'm a children's writer and have always used, "W-Who," to a the character being scared. An example would be "W-Who's there?" Someone recently asked if it would be more appropriate ...
7
votes
1answer
112 views

How should my script refer to a character who's currently disguised as another character?

I've recently resumed writing a series of scripts for an anime I've been planning. One of the characters has the ability to shape-shift, and there are several scenes in which she initially appears ...
1
vote
3answers
127 views

Is it bad practice to use “ahem” in dialogue?

I'm writing a bit of fiction and what i have is an uncomfortable character who is clearing his throat before speaking. Is it better to say so literally: Louis cleared his throat. "I'm not sure.&...
2
votes
5answers
132 views

What pronoun to use for a sentient, self aware AI?

I have a sentient AI in a story. He sentience aspect is mostly an unexpected result and some characters in the story do not believe it. When they refer to the AI, should they use the "it" ...
2
votes
4answers
156 views

How to punctuate long, never-ending dialogue sentences?

I need some basic grammar guidelines to follow regarding how to punctuate dialogues where people go on forever, like in the example below: Now I've edited the whole series all five books which means ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

How to punctuate repeated thoughts/words when transcribing dialogues?

I'm transcribing a webinar for work and I need to get the punctuations right for this. How do I punctuate dialogue when the speaker repeats words in a row whilst wondering out loud? For example, in ...
2
votes
3answers
242 views

All my characters sound the same. How can I change this?

I am writing a fantasy series. I am a new writer. I am almost done with the first draft of the first book, I have about 400 pages. Everyone who has read my work, even complete strangers that I have ...
0
votes
2answers
131 views

protagonist knows things which the reader doesn't know/story starts in the middle. How do I tell them?

when I say "reader", in the context of my particular scenario, I actually mean the "player" as this story is for a videogame. I start the game off with the player/main character (...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

In dialog, what pronoun forms go before the colon?

What should I write before the colon in dialogue? Subject or object? I: Do you love me? He: Yes, I do. Or Me: Do you love me? Him: Yes, I do.
2
votes
1answer
31 views

How are the limits of regional vernacularism/slang should be employed in a novel that is true to the area and time?

What's an acceptable amount of non-standard English that can be used to depict the language of a certain area of the South (Louisiana) without turning off readers? My current work in progress has ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

How can you add light, quirky, humor or sarcasm into dialog?

Looking back at my book, I'm realizing how flat the dialog is. I'm not known for being funny and I don't consider myself naturally funny, so this is hard for me. How can I make the characters talk to ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Will a copyeditor refine both dialogue and plot?

I am a big-picture kinda guy. I have ideas and I love details, but I hate to get stuck up in the microscopic level grunt work - managing accents, tones and environment details that are not so central ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Use of commas with non-dialogue-tag verbs before and after dialogue

I've recently found myself second guessing a convention I've followed for a while where with a piece of dialogue, for instance: "Hurry home" came down the front stairs behind her. I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

How do you format dialogue within a parargraph?

He made his way over to the crimson red telephone box that basked in the afternoon sunlight. Ted knew she was hiding in there. “You can come out now." He swung open the door, with a callous look ...
3
votes
5answers
190 views

How to write a character with an accent

One of my characters is Russian and speaks English as a second language. I know that people with Russian accents tend to leave out words like “the” and “a” because they don’t exist in Russian. My ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

Realistically writing culture shock for this character?

I wanted help writing a character for my setting. Basically, in this story I’m writing, I have a character named Christina. Basically, she lived in an underground bunker, in a post-apocalyptic world, ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

A smooth way to make Dialogue

I am an amateur fiction writer and a key feature in most of my pieces is dialogue. There are often 6-12 characters in the exciting scenes and a lot of the content depends on who said what and how the ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I write complex and believable characters?

How do I write characters that are more grounded, complex and believable so that readers can resonate with them and makes my novel more compelling? How should I elaborate their dialogues and actions ...
3
votes
2answers
209 views

How to create unique dialogue for characters? [duplicate]

So, one of my problems is that I have trouble giving my characters unique voices. They usually all sound the same. I may say that they have a certain dialect or accent, but it doesn't come through in ...
14
votes
10answers
3k views

I'm writing a prologue from the POV of a non-English-speaking character. How should I write the dialogue?

Picturing this in movie form would be easy. I would have the character speak their native language in the scene and place subtitles. But I do not have this luxury in writing. It would be weird to ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Punctuation in direct speech with multiple sentences

The information I found on using punctuation marks in direct speech did not address doing so with multiple sentences. For example, I want to write four sentences with direct speech with reporting ...
4
votes
3answers
104 views

How can I show a character's emotions through a phone call?

When writing face-to-face dialogue, I like to give clues as to what the non-POV character is thinking and feeling through their actions. Not all the time, but whenever it feels appropriate. They might ...
3
votes
4answers
139 views

How to make a weak character fight in major battle [closed]

My character is about to fight someone that really strong but he believes that he is still weak. So how can i force him to fight. (For plus note: i make a fantasy story like magic and stuff)
5
votes
2answers
135 views

How to write a POC explaining to a bullied child that dark skin isn't bad

I'm writing a scene where the skin tone of an adult person of color (POC) is brought up in conversation. The POC has the nickname "Ghost" and another character asks if it's ironic like "Tiny" etc. (...
1
vote
2answers
152 views

How can I write dialogue to show arrogance?

In a series I am currently writing, the protagonist grew up in a big detective family, causing her to know a lot about the detective's world. How can I write her dialogue to show she's a knows it all?...
2
votes
4answers
161 views

How do I write characters that aren't just a copy of myself?

I am finding it difficult to create fictional characters with personalities that are not a copy of myself. I'm having trouble trying to understand what others a character would do in certain ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Em-dashes and interrupting one's own dialogue within the same quote

I am looking for an example of a specific dialogue interruption case. I've been putting a following space my entire life, an editor just told me it doesn't belong, neither of us can cite a guide ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

How to show a stutter in dialogue? [duplicate]

I have seen different ways of showing a stutter in dialogue - an em dash, just saying it was stuttered, etc. What other ways of showing a stutter are there?
3
votes
6answers
197 views

How to improve my Dialogue Writing?

This is one area of writing that I find myself struggling a lot. I usually divide my chapters into scenes and each scene has a goal(s) that I have to achieve. And I have found that even though I know ...
2
votes
4answers
95 views

Do you include punctuation when a character cuts off in dialogue?

So I have a question concerning punctuation. Let's say that Character A is talking to Character B. Character A, like most people, doesn't always speak in complete sentences (think about when people ...
2
votes
4answers
134 views

Looking for a better word than “Yikes”

I'm trying to find the right word to use in a (serious) comic I'm writing. The character is an eighteen year old American girl, talking to some older women who she's just met. Suddenly, in mid-...
1
vote
3answers
302 views

Writing mumbled speech

I've got a character that mumbles, and I'd like good advice on how to write his dialogue. He isn't a POV character, and I won't give him too much dialogue that would make the reading tedious, but it's ...
8
votes
4answers
217 views

How do I write dialogue as heard by a POV character who isn't fluent in the language?

So I'm writing a story during the course of which my main, first-person-POV character learns another language, one used heavily in her surrounding. This generally works, but I regularly get stuck on ...

1
2 3 4 5
10