Categories
Dialogue

Poor dialogue

Poor dialogue happens when the writer isn’t sensitive to the way his character talks. Poor dialogue is when characters overact and the dialogue is explicit. Poor dialogue is when it is used to drag the story along.

If the dialogue does not develop the plot or show the characters’ personality or ambitions, then leave it out. Sometimes silence works best.

Categories
Dialogue

Talk Talk

What your character thinks is shown in everything she says. She may be proving or disproving some particular point or enunciating some universal proposition.  All these comments reveal her personality. This also reveals her moral purpose. There are things she wants to talk about or things she wishes to avoid.

Don’t confuse the reader by having your character talk about something of absolutely no relevance to the story. Everything said must be relevant, revealing character’s motivation, experience and attitude.

Categories
Dialogue

Keep the Conflict in Dialogue

Why have characters waste interaction just to cover, say, travel arrangements? In general, use dialogue to heighten suspense and tension, not to tell us what we already know.

Categories
Dialogue

Turn it out

Think about releasing the dialogue by allowing your character to clarify; backtracking a little over what they have just said. Think also about repetition, interruption, changing the subject and echoing.

Then listen to how dialogue is refracted by the physical world. Cars honking. Animals braying. Plates breaking.  All these sounds get in the way and give the dialogue an extra depth.