Archive for January, 2010

Dialogue

Posted in Kids Can Write | No Comments »

talkingGood dialogue seems natural, but in fact it is not.  In natural speech, nearly all people repeat themselves, start over, stutter, etc.  If you do this on the written page the character will sound boring or scatterbrained.  Unless you want him that way you must change the speech slightly.

But don’t go to the other extreme!  Too much editing can make a character sound phony.

Each author has his own style of writing dialogue.  It may be mostly uninterrupted dialogue with large chunks of story telling.

The best way to find your dialogue style:  writing1.  When writing your first draft, write down everything that comes to mind.  2.  Read your work out loud.  Does it sound like something your character would say?  Is it too wordy or too choppy? 3.  Edit – Experiment – Practice!

Use quotation marks at the beginning and end of each persons words and a new paragraph every time a different character speaks.  If two characters are talking back and forth and it is clear who is talking you don’t have to use – he said – she said after each line.

Avoid using too many descriptive speech words, example:  she blurted, bubbled, pouted, pleaded, etc.  Your characters actions, words, and descriptive story telling should be enough to inform the reader how he feels.