Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

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2answers
62 views

How to write good dialogue?

I'm having difficulties in writing conversations between characters, especially if they are many of them. How can I write good dialogue?
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2answers
150 views

Should you avoid introducing characters that talk one time and never talk again?

Should you avoid introducing characters that talk one time and never talk again? I wrote a scene in a chapter where the main characters talks to a technician, and then the technician is never seen ...
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1answer
59 views

How to format dialogues from a non-living thing?

How to format dialogues from a non-living thing? I am wondering what's the standard way to introduce a "dialogue" from a non-living thing. I am not talking about robots or AI, in which cases ...
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1answer
88 views

Some usual military sayings [closed]

Can anyone please show me some common military sayings used in the 1800s (or 1900s)? I found some sentences but they are all new... My story takes place before the invention of airplanes, missiles, ...
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0answers
36 views

Formatting Simultaneous Dialogue, as from a Crowd

At one point in my ongoing story, characters are in a crowd and people are yelling questions/responses/accusations around at each other. If this were normal dialogue I could put each piece on its own ...
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0answers
85 views

How do you properly write a novel with very little dialogues?

How do you properly write a novel with very little dialogues? I tried doing it and it reads awful. It looks weird if you look at the format and layout if you don't insure the descriptive parts don't ...
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7answers
1k views

What do I do when I know the general summary of how a scene goes but I cannot figure out precisely what the character say?

I have a number of scenes in my story that involve two or more characters talking to each other about various issues, many of which wander into semi-philosophical discussion regarding some of the ...
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2answers
108 views

When can you stop using “he said”?

"Hey, this is dumb," one of the men replied. "You're right, it's dumb," another man replied. "Yes, I know," the other replied. "Yeah.." the other man replied. ...
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2answers
44 views

Italicizing for emphasis

I've noticed that I have had a lot of dialogue between characters with words that need to be said with a noticeable amount of emphasis, and in order to get that emphasis I have had to italicize lots ...
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2answers
59 views

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, how should it be quoted?

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, should the dialog be surrounded by double-quotes or single-quotes, be italicized, or get no special treatment at all? For example: O'...
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3answers
69 views

How do you format a dialogue when it is interrupted by an action verb or sound?

"I wanna be - pants the president." How do you format a dialogue when it is interrupted by an action verb or sound? I don't think this is the proper way. I am looking for a better ...
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3answers
3k views

What should phrases like “um” or “erm” be replaced with?

It is generally considered bad practice to include these in your writing, so what should be used instead? How would you show that your character is pondering something, or unsure about something, ...
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4answers
163 views

Why are discourse markers not used when writing character dialogue?

I am not a writer, but I always wondered why characters tend to not talk using discourse markers, specifically cognitive markers to create flow in the dialogue. There aren't any "um", "...
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2answers
138 views

How do you write pause in a dialogue without making it look flat?

At times in conversations, there are pauses for various reasons; in videos, the contexts of these pauses are clear because of the characters facial expression. But while writing, at first you can use ...
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2answers
57 views

Formatting new line options with actions and dialogue in fiction

I am getting confused about whether rules determine new paragraph positions or if it's sometimes arbitrary. Some choices seem clear cut, but in the sentence: 'I regarded...' it reads fine to me in ...
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4answers
137 views

How to write dialogue with a large group of characters

My story has a cast of 59 characters, 25 of which are either protagonists or antagonists. Nine of these characters are very well-rounded and important, and most make an appearance at least once in ...
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1answer
122 views

What should I do in this situation?

I get most of my ideas for my novels by watching anime, or listening to the anime op or just music - the idea doesn't always be related to anime but it gives me an idea and with music and anime op, I ...
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1answer
57 views

Saying letters? [duplicate]

How do you write dialogue in which the character is saying a letter? Ex: “They speak a language pretty similar to english, just the letter y is replaced with double es.” Bolded letters are where the ...
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3answers
125 views

How to give the voice expression of shouting as well as rhetorical question

While writing dialogue, I came across this confusion. There are some moments when the characters are deep in their thoughts (past troubling thoughts), and something happens that makes them flip-out. ...
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3answers
122 views

How can I specify the speaker in the dialogue without repeating the hero's name?

Let's say my character is Alex, a young man and an actor. I'm describing a long dialogue of him and another person. I need to specify he is a person speaking quite often so the reader is not confused ...
2
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1answer
124 views

Moving story forward via conversation in first person

Background I wrote a few paragraphs of a story, again as an assignment a little while ago, but now I plan on completing it. But there is a problem while I am writing. Unlike other short stories that ...
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4answers
267 views

How can I make a character's dialouge sound smart?

I have an intelligent character. He's basically there just for comic relief, but also helps the MC. One of the special things about him is his dialogue. He speaks usually out of annoyance, like when ...
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1answer
75 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: ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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7answers
156 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 ...
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6answers
448 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 ...
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2answers
50 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 ...
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1answer
31 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 ...
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2answers
48 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 ...
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1answer
44 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 ...
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3answers
96 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 ...
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6answers
192 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'. ...
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1answer
58 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, ...
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2answers
72 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 ...
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3answers
102 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 ...
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5answers
231 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?
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2answers
78 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 ...
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1answer
48 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 ...
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4answers
113 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 ...
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1answer
155 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 ...
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3answers
169 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.&...
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5answers
152 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" ...
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4answers
167 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 ...
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1answer
38 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 ...
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3answers
256 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 ...
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2answers
138 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 (...
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1answer
75 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.
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1answer
34 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 ...
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1answer
84 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 ...

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