7 Fantastic Tips for a Better Dialogue
Books without pictures are okay. But books without dialogues are too monotonous. Without dialogues, there won’t be good new books for young adults. After all, the characters featured in these books won’t feel real. There won’t be tension nor dramatic twists. A novel won’t be attractive. If you want to have a good novel, then you should know how to create better dialogues. Here are some of the great tips that an author should use when creating a dialogue for a masterpiece.
#1. Dialogue tags are useful.
Dialogue tags are those phrases or words you put before or after a dialogue. Examples of these dialogue tags include:
- he said
- she replied
- they screamed
- I cried
While it may be a great idea to vary the dialogue tags, adult fiction writers don’t really have to do that. You can just make use of the word “said”. Of course, don’t hesitate to throw in other variations such as “pondered” or “muttered” at least once or twice.
#2. Use accents and dialects carefully.
Don’t go over-the-top when it comes to using dialect words and accents. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the readers to read the dialogue. Moreover, you might end up unintentionally offending or “breaking” the scene.
#3. Match the dialogue with a scene.
The location where the characters are will have a big impact on the actual dialogue. Are the characters shopping at the mall or inside the train? Are the characters hiking up a mountain? Keeping the scene in mind will also add more realism into the conversation.
#4. Break long blocks of speech.
Basically, this means that one person shouldn’t speak for too long. If the character’s dialogue becomes a long block of speech, you can break those up by having another character interject, interrupt, or clarify. Non-verbal cues from the speaker’s listeners such as frowning and nodding should also help in breaking those long blocks of speech.
#5. A “transcript” doesn’t make a dialogue “real”.
One of the common mistakes that authors make in writing a novel is making the dialogue “too real”. They add too many “umms” or other speech quirks that real life people use. While it is okay to do it every once in a while, doing it too often will just annoy your readers. Keep the dialogue from becoming a transcription of how real life people talk.
#6. Distinct speech patterns help identify your characters.
There are many ways to create a distinct speech pattern for a character. For example, a seven-year-old girl can speak in a cutesy or adorable manner while a 70-year-old grandma can speak in a stern manner. Creating a unique pattern for one’s speech can be possible by taking into account factors such as gender, social background, educational level, and geographical area.
#7. Use proper punctuation.
Proper punctuation in dialogues is a must, regardless if you are self-publishing your work, submitting it to publishers, or entering it in writing competitions. With proper punctuation – together with proper grammar and spelling – the novel will look as professional as it can be.