“I was kind of excited about going to jail the first time, and I learnt some great dialogue.” – Quentin Tarantino (courtesy of Brainy Quotes)
Dialogues are ubiquitous in writing. In fact, it’s an absolutely essential tool in the world of writing. However, our everyday conversations are far more different from what a good writer would naturally go for when writing a novel.
Looking to do a bang-up job whipping up dialogue between characters? Here are top 5 mistakes you ought to watch out for when doing so:
Mistake #1: Being Too Realistic
Again, written dialogues are totally different from everyday conversations, which often are filled with lots of ers and ums. If you try to make your dialogues too real, you’ll end up with a ridiculous number of these fillers. That’s a big no-no.
Mistake #2: Trying to be Too Formal
People don’t talk in textbook lingo. Shy away from being a grammar nerd in your dialogues. Spice up your dialogues with a little slang here and there.
Mistake # 3: Being a Stickler to Phonetic Spellings
Here’s one unsightly mistake that has made Pirate, Klingon, and Western style dialogues painful to read in most novels. Even if you’re trying to spice up your character’s speech with phonetic spellings, try to blend to make it easy on the reader.
Mistake #4: Using Blatant Dialogue Tags
These tags are meant to indicate to the reader who’s talking. A good example would be “she said.” The problem is that writers often abuse these tags.
Mistake #5: Using Names of the Characters Too Many Times
This one is self-explanatory but can take a huge toll on the substance of your dialogues.
Tips on How to Write Dialogue between Characters
Add the Touch of Confrontation: a straight narrative of a conversation between two people is a little dull unless there’s an element of conflict. It’s that simple but quite effective.
Take Advantage of Silence: If you are looking to cultivate a nice variation in your dialogues, then silence is your best bet. Use a combination of action, silence, and sidestep.
Ensure every Dialogue has Purpose: This one is a no-brainer tip. That’s right; a dialogue should characterise, advance the story, and supply the reader with nuggets of information.
Make Sure Dialogues Flow Well: Use tags or vary the lengths of the conversations to ensure effortless flow of the dialogue
Make Characters Sound Different: every character in a book is unique; give them different voices in your dialogues.
Dialogues can be a sizzling tool for sharing expositions in a novel. Consider above tips to ensure that your dialogues are right on point.