Some struggle writing this and some dance through it like it is part of their DNA. We hate those people. Dialogue is two or more characters talking with a purpose. With dialogue you can create who and what your characters are. Comedian? Jerk? Goodie two shoes? Dialogue can make those roles clear. It is the conveyor belt in your story. It moves the journey forward. Also, if you are looking for a way to start a fight in your novel, have two opposing characters sit down for a chat. BAM! Watch the world explode on the page.
I love writing dialogue. I can say, I am pretty good at it. I love to create interactions between my characters. My favorite part is when they take control and I am simply along for the ride. No, seriously. Writing O-B*tch-uary, two of my characters twisted their friendship and I was shocked by how it all happened. I truly was along for the ride. I could have gone back and rewritten it, but it worked, and that is the section more people talk to me about. Allow the chatter to flow. See what happens and run with it.
Speaking of running, I am running low on coffee in my cuppa, and I think toast will be my nibble of choice this morning. Go on- get yourself a fresh mug and something to get you through. I will vacuum the reading rug really quick. It will be ready when you get back. Don’t forget your copy of The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray. Let’s welcome all the newcomers to our collective crazy and share your books if possible. We will be jumping back into dialogue on page 95. As you may see, I jumped ahead several pages. This is why you need your own copy. I am only touching on the highlights. Cool? Cool.
Guidelines for Writing Your Dialogue
Rhythm. There’s that word again. We talked several posts back about how the rhythm of your scenes matter to the rhythm of your entire story. That includes dialogue. It’s the back and forth building of a conversation. They tend to start out as simple one liners and build as the conversation carries on. In the beginning, your rhythm should start out easy:
Me: Hi friend.
Bestie: Hi, it has been a while since we saw each other.
Me: I swear, it was like the end of the world or something.
Bestie: How are you?
Me: Fill your cuppa. This is gonna take a while…
It’s simple progression until you get to the meat of a conversation. It can take a dozen lines or just as many pages. You can even drop in words of symbolism in your conversation. In the example given in the book: it is all about vision- seeing. Words like seeing, glasses, focus, and notice were used.
1: Can you see all right?
2: Of course, this is nothing.
1: I don’t know how you can see to drive.
2: Maybe you should put on your glasses.
1: Putting on glasseswould help you see?
2: Not me, you. You’re focused on the windshield instead of the road.
1: Did you notice that boy…
Images and symbols in a conversation between characters can add texture and an extra layer to the story you are telling.
Dialogue allows tension to occur much faster as well. Say you are tired but the person you are with isn’t and wants to do a dozen and one things. You continue to point out that you are tired, exhausted, in need of sleep, wiped out, draggin’, but they keep pushing. At some point you are going to blow.
“I said, for the tenth time, I am tired.”
And cue argument. It will follow the: Didn’t you hear me? Do you not care that I am so tired? Do my feelings not matter? And so on…Now, the craziest part about these kinds of arguments is how they lead to bigger ones. “Do my feelings not matter?” That is a bombshell waiting to happen.
**When you are practicing writing dialogue- leave out all the directions and quote marks and blah, blah, blah. Just WRITE the dialogue. Don’t let the mechanics interfere with the writing. All that stuff can be added later. Just make sure you note who is saying what. Use their first initial or something like that.
Helpful? Not helpful? Let me know so I can help fill in the blanks. Our next journey in this book will be Action. Action can mean everything from turning on a light to swerving a car to miss an accident. We’ll see how all that works next time. See you on the reading rug.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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Universal Code for O-B*tch-uary: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
Universal Code for Sin Full: http://books2read.com/u/m2Vdqd
Author Page: amazon.com/author/nellawarrent
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