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What Is DIALOGUES? How do you write em ? (1 Viewer)

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Senior Member
How do you Write Dialogues

How can i begin.

What do i have to know about Dialogues to start writing Dialogues.


Staff member
Global Moderator
Easy answer: Dialogue is a verbal exchange, usually between characters.

More accurate answer: Dialogue is the dark and arcane art of transferring information via character interaction while sounding natural, avoiding the errors and irregularities prevalent in actual human speech, and doing so without stopping the narrative cold, condescending to readers by reiterating plot points they've already read through abuse of excessive or unrealistic exposition, or completely derailing the progression of your story while said characters talk about things both irrelevant and useless to the larger work.

You may also need or want a particular regional inflection or style of speech which is considered nonstandard - if you avoid it, all your characters sound like schoolteachers from Iowa, circa 1900, and if you overdo it they sound like bad caricatures. For extra layers of fun, add in a second language and realize that your year of high school Spanish didn't really prepare you to talk to native speakers from Mexico, much less Manila, Havana, or Buenos Aires....you may also learn that Brazilians speak Portuguese and your meager language skills are useless in Rio. Do not under any circumstance write dialogue based on any film production prior to...frankly, ever.

Too much is a mistake often made by rookies who either don't know how to get to the point or are otherwise trying to pad out their story length. Too little means readers' eyes glaze over because there's nothing to break up pages of block text, and when somebody does say something it's usually soiled by an ill-chosen adverb.

It is an essential, unknowable skill that none will ever master (save those who have) and should you become proficient at writing grounded, realistic, readable dialogue, it will be entirely sanitized and rewritten by adverb-happy overly-expository hacks when Hollywood buys the rights.


Senior Member
There is a thread in the forum, where there are tons of titles, to improve the writing. I can't find it, I'm sorry.
I advise you,
Dialogue: the Art of Verbal Action for Stage, Page, and Screen (2016) Robert McKee


Staff member
"How do I write dialogue?"

"Well, the first thing you have to learn is not to use too many other words like 'shouted/shouts', 'growled/growls', 'snorted/snorts' and so forth." I pause for a moment to give that a little more consideration. "'Said' and 'says' are invisible words. The reader takes them in without registering them as words but rather subconsciously uses them to associate what is being said to a particular person. Any other words, draw attention to themselves, so if you do at some point use other words, you'll have to make sure they're justified. 'Asked' and 'asks' are also invisible words so using those is OK too. And try to keep dialogue short and snappy if possible. It keeps the flow going and allows for added friction/conflict."

"Do I always have to use 'said' or 'says' when someone speaks?" The frustration shows in the text.

"No." I try to think of a particular Author but can't remember who it is. "There are some writers who avoid using said entirely and add actions and feeling instead. Usually it's a mix of the two though." I sip at my Pepsi. "You can even let dialogue hang there all on it's lonesome if it's clear who's speaking."

"What do you mean?"

"It's clear there for instance who asked the question and who answered."

"Oh, I see." Davinci pauses for a moment, fingers poised to type, I assume. "But what if there's more than two people?"

"That's a little harder because it could get confusing for the reader. You can still let dialogue hang but you have to be very careful."

Foxee pops into the thread. "My dear chap, you can often tell whose talking by the words they use."

"I know." I slurp at my Pepsi. "I'm getting to that. It's bloody hard though and I've got a stonking headache."

"Just trying to help."

I note a 'lol' appear below my post. For some odd and likely shallow reason, it makes me feel good about myself.

"What about formatting?" Davinci says, interrupting a perfectly good conversation.

"New dialogue, new paragraph. It's as simple as that." I punch my settee.

"Are you angry with me?"

"How do you know that?" I say, more as a challenge than a genuine question.

"You punched the settee."

"Yes, things like that allow you to add emotions to what is said without explicitly expressing them in dialogue. Rather than putting 'Az got angry' or 'Az says angrily', I added in an action to show I was angry."

"Got it!"

"Good. ..." My Pepsi can is empty. "But try to avoid using exclamation marks. They're frowned upon in some circles."


Senior Member

‘The site requires a powerful new rule to force @AZ to use single quotes,’ shouted Matchu from the podium. ‘Contrary to repeated and my most learned guidance @AZ does not adhere to our proper English speech marks voluntarily and only Americans should use double speech marks and everybody knows the rule. I am angry! Matchu exclaimed in voice, his dribble swinged beyond this most interesting of faces. ‘Henceforth if @AZ insists on American grammar conventions then I and my entire tribe of wildlife creatures and anybody I ever text message shall address @AZ az an American 🇺🇸 person individual,’ Matchu concluded, quite a righteous preacher. Wind whipped in his hair like a whip of hair’s command.
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