Questions tagged [dialogue]

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

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11
votes
2answers
447 views

Colloquial speech in pre-modern setting

Following this question, I'm struggling with writing the speech of pre-modern (in my case - 5th century) noble-born children among themselves. Characters who are well-educated would not be making ...
9
votes
6answers
544 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 ...
32
votes
10answers
10k 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
833 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
146 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’...
14
votes
7answers
938 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
68 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
617 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
368 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
182 views

My life story is in 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?
14
votes
2answers
599 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 ...
18
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. ...
3
votes
1answer
155 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'...
12
votes
6answers
14k 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
4answers
252 views

Trying to figure out the correct type punctuation for dialogues

I'm currently writing a story which so far is going well, but I reached a point in the story where I don't know how to proceed. When a character is talking, I write their dialogue just like this: "...
8
votes
1answer
223 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
141 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
134 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
1k 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 why. ...
3
votes
2answers
220 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
663 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 ...
16
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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
96 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
7k 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
91 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 ...
28
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
637 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
77 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
4k 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?
17
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
23
votes
8answers
7k views

How can I make a "meeting in VR" less dumb?

I've written myself into a sci-fi cliche which I have never seen done well: two characters meet in virtual reality. The gist of my scene is one character has been in a pseudocoma, more aware of her ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Character who always thinks aloud like a narrator

Are there any examples of characters who always thinks aloud, as a character flaw, as if narrating their own lives. Such a character might for example be at a supermarket till and say out loud "I ...
20
votes
8answers
8k views

How do you mix dialogue with actions of a character?

I'm not talking about if it's right to go like: "See you later, Mom!" Sierra grabbed an apple and ran out of the front door. I'm more concerned with something I remember seeing but can't remember how ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Writing dialogue

How much dialogue to use when novel writing? I find it so boring and unimaginative to write, but yet when I read I appreciate that it often provides key information for the story. How much is too ...
5
votes
5answers
955 views

Is inner monologue a bad way to show character traits?

Is directly showing a characters inner thoughts and conversations with themselves too telly or cheesy?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the correct way to write dialogue? [duplicate]

When writing dialogue I usually just make one character say whatever I want them to say and then write "said" at the end, but I feel like I'm doing it wrong. What is the correct way to write ...
6
votes
3answers
677 views

Which is the correct way to punctuate this dialogue with ellipses?

Below are four alternate dialogues that I am confused between. I'd like to know which is the correctly punctuated one. Also please explain how to use ellipses in a dialogue which is interrupted by a ...
2
votes
4answers
122 views

Introduce new English dialect

I'm willing to introduce a new character who speaks a different English - he uses all the words with -ed in the past and past perfect tenses and he doesn't use the continuous tenses: "Eh, they ...
3
votes
3answers
382 views

Using internal monologue for more than one or two characters

It appears that most "rules" regarding internal monologue advise restricting its use to one or two POV characters. My novel, however, will have five or six major (POV) characters, and I would like to ...
6
votes
5answers
248 views

Trudy said - or - said Trudy?

Hope someone can tell me if there are any "rules" about placement of the verb 'said.' As any avid reader knows, 'said' regularly appears before and after the subject who is speaking. Is ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Writing a phone call scene in a screenplay

I’m writing a scene that is on a phone call. I don't want to hear one person in a voiceover. Instead, I want to cut back and forth between the two people speaking. Do I have to use a new scene ...
5
votes
7answers
770 views

How can I make dialog sound like that of a six year old?

I'm a contemporary romance author writing a romance Christmas book. The hero in my story has a six year old girl. There are lots of conversations with the six year old, but when I read my story back ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Writing witty/funny characters with deadpan humor

I've been working on writing a game, and I was wondering what were some good pointers for writing witty and funny characters while using deadpan humor? (Something like GLaDOS from the portal series). ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

How to create tension during a conversation

In my novel my protagonist speaks to a man while being held at gun point. She (protagonist) tried to kill him. He was her boss, was involved in her best friend's death and wants the protagonist dead. ...
2
votes
3answers
159 views

Is it okay to sum up unimportant dialogue in the description? Let me explain

Like many, I’m a huge fan of the HBO series True Detective. I was reading the script for the second episode and I noticed this: INT. STATE CID - NIGHT Hart and Cohle enter the squad room, ...
4
votes
5answers
616 views

How do I format dialogue for an AI chatbot in a screenplay?

In my script, there is an AI chatbot character - ANNIE - that real characters communicate with via text. ANNIE has animated reactions and has an artificial speaking voice. Would I write ANNIE’S ...
4
votes
1answer
549 views

Dash and space usage for dialogue interruptions, stuttering, starting over

I'm hoping for guidance on several very similar situations, which I suspect are all meant to be punctuated and spaced differently. Stuttering How would you write someone stuttering out the word "...
1
vote
4answers
4k views

How much dialogue in a first date scene?

Something I always get stuck with is how to describe a first date. E.g. I have a story where 2 characters are on a blind date, so they have to get to know each other. How much of the date should be ...
0
votes
2answers
124 views

How do you guide a character into discovering a world? [closed]

I'm writing a story about a creature that takes the shape of a human and travels seeing the world. This character has no clue about this new reality, as he had no body before this incarnation, and it ...

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