Writing Your Manuscript - Dialogue

Post 87

Ben Kesp Academy

How do your characters speak?

What is the language, the style?

Dialogue can be a challenging element in writing your manuscript. The use of dialogue can slow down or speed up depending on how it is written. Remember dialogue is coming from your characters. If you know your characters really well, then they should speak naturally. Do not speak from your voice but through the voice of the character.

The way we speak on a daily basis is not how we would write a dialogue between characters. Stop and listen to a conversation. There are many interjections and non-verbal actions that we would not include in writing. Additionally in reality, we tend to have the habit of moving off subject very easily before returning to it again. Take some time to listen and see what it would be like if you were to write as you heard it. If you have created strong all-round characters, then the reader will understand their actions and thoughts from the conversations with other characters.

Additionally, another point to note on writing dialogue is the form that it will take. What is the period of your story setting, the background of the person, the slang used, jargon, etc? All of these will have an impact on the dialogue.

Experiment with dialogue with different character types. Become an actor and create a role play scenario between your characters and listen to how they will speak and how they will say it based on the situation they find themselves in. Explore, practice and have fun with it!

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