Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Dee Ann Waite
"Jack, it's been ages! How have you been?“
"Just great. How about you?“
"I can't complain. How are the wife and kids?“
"Go...
"What have you heard about the
investigation?"
"All I can tell you, Jack, is that the SEC
asked me a few questions. But we...
Having a sense of natural speech patterns is essential to good
dialogue. Start to pay attention to the expressions that pe...
2.
It shouldn't be obvious to the reader that they're being fed
important facts. Let the story unfold naturally. You don't...
3.
Remind your reader that your characters are physical
human beings by grounding their dialogue in the physical
world. Wh...
4. Veering too much beyond "he said/she said" only draws attention to the
tags — and you want the reader's attention cente...
5.
Be aware of falling back on stereotypes, and use profanity and slang
sparingly. All of these risk distracting or aliena...
Dialogue can be a lot of fun to write, though it can be tough to do well. It’s a good idea to go
back and edit your dialog...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Writing killer dialogue

787 views

Published on

How to write Killer Dialogue teaches writers how to write more effectively in the way of writing dialogue.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Writing killer dialogue

  1. 1. Dee Ann Waite
  2. 2. "Jack, it's been ages! How have you been?“ "Just great. How about you?“ "I can't complain. How are the wife and kids?“ "Good. Yours?“ "The same. How are you liking that new job?“ "Lots of new challenges. I miss the old place, though.“ "And we miss you, believe me." All right, enough. But you get it, right? Jack and the other guy used to work together and they haven't seen each other in a while, so now they're catching up. Do you see what's wrong with this? It reads like it was transcribed verbatim from a real-life exchange. It won't work in a novel because novels aren't about real-life conversations. The dialogue needs to move the story forward.
  3. 3. "What have you heard about the investigation?" "All I can tell you, Jack, is that the SEC asked me a few questions. But we expected that, didn't we?" "You didn't tell them about--" "Of course I didn't tell them. I'm not a fool, Jack!" See the difference? Hurry past the inconsequential stuff and get straight to the juicy parts. That'll keep your readers reading. Realistic dialogue is one of the most powerful tools at a writer's disposal, but you must remember, nothing pulls the reader out of a story faster than bad dialogue.
  4. 4. Having a sense of natural speech patterns is essential to good dialogue. Start to pay attention to the expressions that people use in everyday conversation. It should eliminate the routine exchanges of ordinary communication. Dialogue is not exactly like real speech, but it should read like real speech. Confusing? How do you accomplish that? Alfred Hitchcock said that a good story was "life, with the dull parts taken out." This very much applies to dialogue. Edit out the filler words and unessential dialogue -- that is, the dialogue that doesn't contribute to the plot in some way. 1.
  5. 5. 2. It shouldn't be obvious to the reader that they're being fed important facts. Let the story unfold naturally. You don't have to tell the reader everything up front. Don't be afraid to trust your reader to remember details from earlier in the story.
  6. 6. 3. Remind your reader that your characters are physical human beings by grounding their dialogue in the physical world. What I mean by this is to be sure to add in physical details to help break up the words on the page. Long periods of dialogue are easier for the reader's eye when broken up by description. Help the reader visualize the characters, as well as hear them.
  7. 7. 4. Veering too much beyond "he said/she said" only draws attention to the tags — and you want the reader's attention centered on your dialogue, not your ability to think of synonyms for "said." This is a huge downfall for many-a-writer. I know, we want the reader to understand the importance of the dialogue, or the intensity, or the vagueness, etc., and we feel that adding something like: "she said bashfully" will help. WRONG! The reader’s eyes should brush over them quickly, helping to keep them in the story, which is exactly where you want them. The tags are simply there to keep the reader abreast of who is speaking, nothing more.
  8. 8. 5. Be aware of falling back on stereotypes, and use profanity and slang sparingly. All of these risk distracting or alienating your reader. Anything that takes the reader out of the fictional world you're working so hard to create is not your friend.
  9. 9. Dialogue can be a lot of fun to write, though it can be tough to do well. It’s a good idea to go back and edit your dialogue carefully after writing the first draft. That concludes our presentation. I hope you found this to be helpful. Please visit my blog at http://DeeAnnWaite.blogspot.com for more helpful writing information and tips on this trade. You can also find me on: Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/deeannwaite Twitter: www.twitter.com/deeannwaite1 Facebook: www.facebook.com/deeannwaite Google Plus: www.plus.google.com/deeannwaite Website: http://www.deeannwaite.com/

×