1. Cougar1002
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    Cougar1002 New Member

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    How to Write Natural Dialogue in Fiction Stories

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cougar1002, Jun 29, 2008.

    Here are some tips for writing dialogue in fiction stories:

    1) The first step involves taking a look at your characters. Keep in mind traits such as personality, where they are from, their ages, and their education. Dialogue is a tool that you can use to show these traits to your reader without directly telling them. Taking the time to do this will help you determine not only what a character might say, but how they would say it.

    2) Second, mentally picture your characters interacting as if they were on a TV show or a play. Is there anything about what they're saying to each other that seems odd or out of place? Sometimes a sentence may be correct from a grammar standpoint, but you may have to reword it for dialogue because of how people speak in reality.

    3) Third, read the dialogue out loud. This will help your pacing. If you feel like you're out of breath after a string of dialogue, you may want to shorten your sentences. Likewise, if you feel like the dialogue is too short for the situation, you can smooth it out.

    4) Last, do a check of your overall story. Do you have a lot of "he said" and "she replied" after each sentence? You can eliminate a lot of those after you've established who is talking. This makes the story as a whole flow a lot better.

    If you'd like more free tips and resources, I have links to my work in my signatures below. Have a great day! :)
     
  2. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Sweet, thanks for the tips. :)
    I've saved them to my computer so I can look at them whenever I need to. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. InkDancer
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    InkDancer Senior Member

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    Good advice! I had a creative writing instructor back in college who mentioned another good tip for dialogue.

    He said the dialogue is a negotiation of meaning. Since written dialogue comes from one head, but real dialogue comes from two or more, it's important to remember that each participant has his or her own reason for speaking, and their own purposes and goals in the conversation. Sometimes the best dialogue comes when the characters speak at cross purposes, instead of collaborating. It makes the dialogue sound less rehearsed and more natural.
     
  4. JimT.
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    JimT. New Member

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    If your characters are alive as real people in your imagination as you write, you'll hear them speak, and you can just write the dialogue down. There's no guarantee that the casting will be optimum, though.
     
  5. Rebekkamaria
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    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

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    To me, dialogue is also a way to carry the plot further. Meaningless dialogue is just boring even if it's realistic and natural. Whenever I use dialogue, I try to give something new to the readers. It might be something about the characters, their personalities or their relationship together. It might be something about the surroundings or just something that needs to be said rather than showed/told.

    I love the way Terry Pratchett uses dialogue. That's how I want to learn to do it. :)
     
  6. assassins creed
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    assassins creed Banned

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    thanks cougar1002 you really have a grasp on writing fiction your advice will be taken on board with this novice
     
  7. Hubert
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    Hubert New Member

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  8. Alexa
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    Alexa Member

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    These are great tips. Thanks you guys!
     
  9. Fluxhavok
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    Fluxhavok Active Member

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    many thanks. useful resources.
     

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