1. Danieru_X
    Offline

    Danieru_X New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia

    Dialogue

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Danieru_X, Dec 26, 2012.

    Hi everyone.
    To be honest, I am having my first true attempt at writing a story at the moment. However, I am having issues with how I write my dialogue. It always seems to be very "he said" "She said" and I'm not exactly sure where I should be breaking up the dialogue from the previous paragraph etc.

    Is there any advice online for writing dialogue between characters?

    Example of what I am writing is below:

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Glad to be a part of this community :)
     
  2. Thumpalumpacus
    Offline

    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    Texas
    When it comes to attributions, give enough to keep the speaker's identity clear, but not so much that the attributions intrude. It helps if you have well-limned characters; ideally, a reader can identify your characters simply by speech after some familiarization with them.

    I would also be careful about bundling too many other actions with an attribution. A plain "he said" is often fine. And adding a simple declarative statement into the dialogue can help you control the rhythm of the passage.

    As technical niggle, when closing a quote in preparation to attribution, the punctuation goes inside the quotes.

    Welcome to the forum.
     
  3. philaz
    Offline

    philaz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the he said/she said bothers you, why use it at all?

    “Isn’t that the company which helped me get rid of my Epilepsy Mum?”
    “It is. You should still not get too close to the screen love, come sit next to me before you have a fit”.
    He did not yield her request, rather he continued watching the news unfold.

    “What happened?” Tom groped around the room for a place to sit.
    “Who knows? Let’s get some light first.” She lit a candle. “So, what the hell was that? I could have sworn I heard screaming in the background”. A bead of sweat swelled on her forehead. “I am sure it was just the TV equipment going weird with the power going out."
     
  4. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    there's no problem here re separation of paragraphs... you would simply need a line break there, due to the time change, so all you do is place a single # in the center of the line between the two paragraphs...

    that said, you do have some problems in the writing itself:

    hope this helps...
     
  5. Danieru_X
    Offline

    Danieru_X New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Wow thank you both for your help. I really appreciate it. Kind of wish I posted more of my excerpt, but this gives me a good idea what I need to fix anyway.

    Thank you!
     
  6. Griplan
    Offline

    Griplan Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't be afraid of contractions either.
     
  7. Danieru_X
    Offline

    Danieru_X New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I hadn't thought of that. :)
     
  8. Daniel Cassidy
    Offline

    Daniel Cassidy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Use action/beat tags to help with the dialogue and lose most of the he said/she said:

     
  9. Pundemic
    Offline

    Pundemic Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    You've gotten some good answers already. With dialogue in general, I find I enjoy reading it the most when written in such a way that attributions aren't needed too often. And don't feel compelled to add description between every piece of dialogue, as it breaks it up a little too much.
     
  10. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    “Isn’t that the company which helped me get rid of my epilepsy, Mum?” is in dialogue, and some people would say "which" (evidently!), so I reckon that one could stand.
     
  11. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    true, if the speaker isn't that good with grammar... it still reads awkwardly, though...
     

Share This Page