Advice for Dialogues


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Thread: Advice for Dialogues

  1. #1

    Advice for Dialogues

    One of the flaws I've seen with most people is dialogue. Personally what I find most irritating in dialogues, is when the author uses big words in order to impress the reader. With that, you have ten-year old children talking as if they got a degree from Harvard.
    Apart from that, of course, there is the infamous 'said' fault, when people use the word 'said' way more often than they should. While that is not the mark of a good writer, I also think that constantly using words which are not 'said' also is a mark. It shows the writer trying to desperately show off his great vocabulary, like I mentioned earlier.

    That's all that I can think of right now. I'll give more advice when I think of them. If y'all have any advice, don't hesitate to post it.

  2. #2
    "said" is invisible, which draws greater attention to the spoken word(s). Alternatively, other words usually draw attention. Depends on intention. Said is often a swear word to new writers and they try to purge every use, which is not necessarily the best thing. One could also use neither by tying the dialogue with an action, or just omit "said" when in a duologue, or when a character has a speech-related quirk (eg using big words constantly)
    In fantasy, many writers write the dialogue fully ("I do not" as opposed to "I don't") which isn't natural. Using big words for a ten-year old is not a no-no, I would say, if that's part of the character's quirks.
    Using flawless grammar in speech is pretty unrealistic too. Most people end with prepositions in daily conversation, for example. (though, "ending in a preposition" isn't incorrect, say many grammarians)
    I'm *always* looking for beta readers for stuff (mostly fantasy). Willing to do trades most of the time. Shoot me a PM.

    And no, I'm not a Rand fan, nor a subscriber to objectivism. I'm also not fictional (to the best of my knowledge), by the way, and neither am I actually John Galt, just so you know.

  3. #3
    "Said" is just fine.

    What I dislike is when characters are stating, screaming, interjecting, proposing, shouting, exclaiming, offering, proffering, claiming, and blubbering so much that you can't understand what they just said. Sure, it's fine to do such stuff when it's important or natural that it be done. But, for all other times, just having "said" it is enough.

  4. #4
    Apart from that, of course, there is the infamous 'said' fault, when people use the word 'said' way more often than they should.
    Never encountered it before, unless you're talking about writers who don't know how to get rid of dialogue tags completely.

    The use of a word depends on the narrative situation it's placed in, not the frequency of its occurrence in the text. It's a qualitative, not quantitative issue, and I've seen most writers misuse words used in place of 'said' far more than they misuse the word itself.
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  5. #5
    moved
    Last edited by EmmaSohan; November 29th, 2014 at 09:48 PM. Reason: put in wrong plac
    English is a good language for people who like to be creative and expressive, not for people who want words to fit into boxes and stay there.

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  6. #6
    My contributory tip: Try reading aloud.
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  7. #7
    sorry, to add on, maybe even do a dramatic reading to close friends/family. stuff that doesn't make sense (like using big words or a tone that doesn't fit the character) will definitely stick out like a sore thumb .
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