Rules for Writing Dialogue
Dialogue is there to make your characters come to life.
Its aim is to grab your reader’s attention and keep them wanting to continue reading. The dialogue has to create some sort of urgency to see what happens next.
There are a few unspoken rules when it comes to dialogue. You need to make sure you get your dialogue as intriguing and as interesting as it can get. When writing dialogue into your book, you’re not replicating a real life conversation. You’re creating something new and improved.
Rule one: Conflict.
Conflict within dialogue is one way of making your dialogue much more exciting. In regards to everyday conversational dialogue, people may find it boring or uninteresting and begin to feel that your book is tedious. Giving your characters conflicting goals within a certain piece of dialogue will create tension and gain the reader’s attention quickly. Disagreement makes for much more entertaining dialogue than everyday conversation.
Rule two: Make it purposeful.
If you choose to put dialogue in your book, it must serve a purpose. It needs to serve a function. The dialogue should drive the story forward and advance the plot, rather than just be a conversation with no deeper meaning or purpose. Saying this, some of this everyday conversation is good within a book as it makes it authentic and true to life itself.
Rule three: Should be informative.
Dialogue should provide information. Anything that is vital to the understanding of the plot can be integrated into your book through the dialogue. Remember, this is only things that can be seen as vital. There are a lot of things that may be in the background of your book that you feel can help readers understand the plot; but not everything needs to be said.
Rule four: Characters must have a maintained voice.
When it comes to moulding and shaping out your characters, you also need to create their voice. You need to know how they speak and act. This voice needs to be maintained consistently when writing dialogue for the different characters. Each and every one of them will more than likely have a different dialect and different ways of speaking to one another.
Rule five: Avoid boring conversations.
Try to avoid the obvious dialogue. Some conversations can be deemed as dull, and obvious in terms of what's going to happen. These conversations are not page turning; whereas the conversations you want to be creating should be page turning. You need all your conversations to be consistently interesting and attention grabbing.
Rule six: Punctuation.
Punctuation is also an extremely significant factor when thinking about the dialogue. The punctuation used will, essentially, change how the character has said something and how they mean it to be received.
All these unspoken rules will make for great dialogue. Remember, your dialogue needs to be interesting at all times and be as intriguing as they can be.
You need to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read on.
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