Tag Archives: dialogue

Ew, Argh, Eek!

Stacey Kite

Stacey Kite

Looking up the spelling for interjections and exclamations, those sounds people make that aren’t really words, takes me far more time than it should. It’s strange that, though I recognize expressions like ew, pee-ew and pfffffffffft in stories and cartoons and know what they mean, I have a horrible time remembering how to spell them. Since my spell-checker usually doesn’t know, either, I wind up wasting precious time looking up the spelling on the net. Or worst case, have to spend time fixing a drawing or painting where I misspelled some hand lettered sound-effect.

Practical Prompt 6/22/16: Dialogue Part 5

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

For our May “Learn to Write by Reading” challenge, we invited you to examine books that had great dialogue. Now, apply what you learned to your own manuscript.

In television and movies, the writers often use dialogue to convey information. But in a book, because novelists have more options for conveying information, using dialogue for info dumps is a telltale sign of an amateur. If two characters already know something, they won’t stop to tell each other about it. Read through your own dialogue and highlight any instances of info dumping you find. Now decide if the information is actually necessary to the story. If it is, pick another way to convey it, such as through action, thought, or description.

Practical Prompt 6/15/16: Dialogue Part 4

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

For our May “Learn to Write by Reading” challenge, we invited you to examine books that had great dialogue. Now, apply what you learned to your own manuscript.

Dialogue is a chance for characters to reveal themselves in their own words. Good dialogue often says more about the character speaking than the characters or events being discussed. Go back and re-read a dialogue scene from the book you read for this month’s challenge. Practice identifying ways the author used dialogue for characterization. Pick one technique to apply to a scene in your own story.

Practical Prompt 6/8/16: Dialogue Part 3

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

For our May “Learn to Write by Reading” challenge, we invited you to examine books that had great dialogue. Now, apply what you learned to your own manuscript.

Dialogue isn’t just characters talking. The words should be interspersed with action, description, and character thoughts. Note how the author of the book you read for this month’s challenge used those elements to create tone, give information, and alter the story’s pace. Selecting a scene from your story, write three different versions: one with only dialogue, one with more action, description and character thoughts than dialogue, and one where the dialogue makes up roughly half the word count. Which one gives you the best tone and pacing for the scene?

Practical Prompt 6/1/16: Dialogue Part 2

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

For our May “Learn to Write by Reading” challenge, we invited you to examine books that had great dialogue. Now, apply what you learned to your own manuscript.

Good dialogue sounds realistic but isn’t. In real life, people ramble, stutter, and spend way too long on irrelevant niceties. Dialogue in your story should be pithy, entertaining, and advance the plot. Write a conversation between two of your characters as you think it would unfold in real life. Then, using the book you read for this month’s challenge as a model, go back and tighten the dialogue to remove the irrelevant fluff that can stall a story.