Developing good dialogue should be easy since it’s basically a conversation with two or more people. We talk and converse with people everyday. However, we’ve all experienced times in discourse when we take pause – not really sure what to say or how to say it.
For the writer this is magnified as crisp and precise sentences must be developed not just for one but for a host of characters. Then the wording must appear authentic and thread seamlessly in communications between and among characters.
Dialogue is paramount and can make or break a story. Every word must be pondered, every word the proper fit and every descriptive term or adverb cautiously applied.
It’s the essential ingredient that progresses the movement and adds the dramatic touch and overtones to the narration.
Good dialogue commands the writer have an awareness and understanding of the differences in the way people speak and the length of their sentences. Consideration must be given to the use of inflections, slang terms, swear words and colloquialisms. An understanding of socio-economic status and circumstances, geographic locations, accents and regional dialects are also fundamentals in developing appropriate dialogue.
The process of writing dialogue must be viewed from several perspectives. There’s dialogue that requires us to get into the minds of our characters to understand their feelings, thoughts and motivations. Then there’s the scenes where we deliberately keep the character in the dark and don’t permit him/her to act or speak as if he/she has the knowledge of what’s about to happen.
Dialogue must be credible and believable. Dialogue must be meaningful, appropriate and at times dramatic. Dialogue must have rising conflict. Dialogue must be properly placed to interrupt and transition narration.
Dialogue that delivers on all these points will make the book vibrant and come alive in the mind of the reader.
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Author – Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty
Travel Editor – hers Magazine