How to write best dialogues in a story
As a writer, it’s imperative that you learn and understand how to write best dialogues. Readers will be more interested in your story when they find catchy conversations that include disagreement and conflicts. Let’s take a look at these steps that help to engage better character dialogue:
- Know how to create and format dialogue
- Learn how to include dialogue in your story by referencing great examples.
- Ask yourself how the conversation you want to add to the story fit into the story
- Make sure to include conflict in your dialogue
- Use motivations, desires, questions, and evasions.
- Use setting to enhance the conversations and deepen the tone.
Now let’s expatriate these points a little further.
Know how to create and format dialogue
If you are a new writer and want to know about how to write best dialogues like big writers then you have to understand that, for your dialogue to catch the attention of the reader, it needs to be in the right format. You don’t want to confuse the reader by using a faulty format. There are three things you need to understand about dialogue :
Whenever there is a change in speaker, start with a new indented line. This tip is required as it is convenient to lose track of the character that is saying what in a dialogue. Here is an example of the quality format:
“But what were you thinking when you made that decision ?” Sarah expressed her displeasure.
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking, I mean”, Bob said.
Always keep your dialogue enclosed in speech marks. If the tone of your writing is United States English, you should use single quotation marks.
All punctuation for spoken lines should be placed in speech marks.
In the example shown above, the question mark in the dialogue of Sarah comes before the closing marks, not after. If the end of a dialogue marks the end of the sentence, the full stop is used before the closing speech as it forms part of the speech rhythm:
“well, that’s your problem,” Sarah angrily reproached, “you only ever rely on your instincts.”
in order to rid your book of faulty format, the best thing to do when formatting dialogue is to search for published books. Go through them and compare their dialogues. Find out the common practice used for formatting dialogues.
Learn how to include dialogue in your story by referencing great examples
It is simple. To write a great dialogue, simply read a great one. Make this your little secret. J.S Bach, the baroque composer learned by writing out the scores of those that came before him. Writing out dialogues from your favorite authors will help you align the cogs.
Make sure to include conflict in your dialogue
Writing the dialogue in a book requires deep thinking on your own part. It requires you to think about the personalities and the individual motivations of your characters. You need to understand how these variables combine together to spark friction. If all the characters in your story get along with everyone and there is no conflict whatsoever, what you will have is a dull dialogue. The dialogue in a story comprises of characters speaking with one another and passing information that is important to the plot of the story. However, conversations should also come out of contrasting and opposing needs and wants because this is how people interact sometimes.
To illustrate, in Charles Dickens ‘Great Expectations’ though Estella is the love interest of Pip, she still tests and torments him. This stems out from the teachings she received from Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham had taught her to treat boys with contempt because the man she loved treated her with disdain. The teachings of Miss Havisham was seen in the interactions of Estella and Pip when he was over at Havisham’s house :
“well, miss?” I answered, almost falling over her and checking myself.
“Am I pretty?”
“Yes; I think you are very pretty.”
“Am I insulting?”
“Not as much as you were the last time, ” said I.
“Not as much ?”
She was angry when she asked the last question and when I answered, she gave me a slap on my face with all the energy she had.
“Now?” What do you think of me now?
“I will not tell you.”
“Because you will go tell upstairs right?”
“No,” I said,
“So why are you not crying, little wretch? ‘
“Because I’ve promised myself not to cry for you again, ” I said. Though that was a flash declaration as I was crying inwardly.
One may ask, How does this dialogue add to the story?
The truth is good dialogue work at different levels. While it offers entertainment on one hand, on the other hand, the dialogue shows the details of the plot and the character and by doing so, it gives reader deep understanding of the story. While writing dialogue, you should think about how the words of your character align with the broader story. You should make each piece of dialogue show clarification about the whole picture.
Use motivations, desires, questions and evasions
If you want the dialogue in your story to turn out good and effective, you should use all the techniques and tools at your disposal. Understand that your characters do not need to he upfront, honest or easy to understand. Sometimes, they can be misguiding. They can confuse each other with evasive responses and questions.
- When writing dialogue, ask yourself these questions:
- What desires, fears or expectations does each character bring to the dialogue?
- At the end of the dialogue, will the reader have a clear understanding of the character and the plot of the story?
Use setting to enhance the conversations and deepen the tone
Behind Dialogue is the setting where the dialogue takes place. The setting where the conversation ensured can deepen the effects of the words of the characters. When writing dialogue, it’s important that you think about the surrounding and how the surrounding affects the conversation. Characters who are conversing on a moving train might have to lean closer to each other so they’ll what the other person is saying. Taking into account the details of the surrounding which affects your dialogue will greatly add more life to your dialogue. The most important factor is, always try to put the “soul” into your dialogues which can create feelings and emotions to the reader. If you don’t know about how to write best dialogues in your story then you need to read famous heart melting stories first, note down their best dialogues in your notebook and then try to practice the same style. Don’t copy them, just use your own words and put your own emotions into the dialogues.
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