Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

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votes
1answer
38 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 ...
9
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2answers
656 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
96 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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1answer
133 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
46 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 ...
4
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2answers
92 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
871 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
88 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 ...
6
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2answers
101 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
835 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
764 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, ...
5
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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
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4answers
774 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
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2answers
99 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
627 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
226 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
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3answers
122 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 ...
9
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4answers
354 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
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2answers
180 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
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6answers
245 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 ...
6
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2answers
103 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
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2answers
71 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
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2answers
133 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 ...
12
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5answers
253 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
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2answers
110 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
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5answers
170 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
308 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
919 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" ...
4
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2answers
107 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
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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
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5answers
7k 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
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4answers
127 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
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1answer
97 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
88 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
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2answers
112 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
145 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
103 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
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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
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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
54 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
95 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
90 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 ...