How To Write A Good Novel Dialogue

One of the essential components of a good novel is dialogue. They can be simple, moving, or lively and spicing. But, unfortunately, they have another disadvantage: if you write them too quickly, your story will quickly lose its rhythm and appeal. 

Why do you write dialogue?

It is only natural to want to let his novel's characters speak for themselves after carefully developing and refining them. Another way to breathe life and energy into your writing is through dialogue. But be careful; the dialogues shouldn't become an organized tool or a quick way to make your characters come to life. A dialogue can lighten or speed up the narration, for example, after an information-rich descriptive passage. However, if it is poorly executed, it can also slow it down and disrupt the narrative flow. Every word spoken must contribute to the meaning of the book.

Therefore, the writer must always consider the interest that character interaction can add to his story. For example, does it depict or make a character's personality clear? To convey or make a protagonist do emotions clear? To convey knowledge that will advance the plot? To pique the reader's interest?

Tips For Writing Impactful Dialogue

Look for the natural, flee the banality

One of the most important aspects of a successful dialogue is naturalness. If the exchange is false, the author risks jolting his reader out of the romantic illusion he is immersed in, which should be avoided at all costs. Natural attention does not always imply identical to reality. The pursuit of realism should not be confused with an exact transcription of "real life." Anything that may bog down the story should be set aside, so we will avoid "Hello Madam," "How is the family/the dog/life?" and other sayings that may bore the reader. When two characters talk, the author can start their conversation with what the reader will find interesting, leaving the reader to imagine what isn't written.

Tip: Read your dialogue aloud to check for naturalness.

Singularize the characters

Your novel's characters are not interchangeable, and this must be reflected in the dialogue. Try to assign them their way of speaking without clichés or exaggeration. Is he using formal or informal language? Is he outgoing or reserved? Is his vocabulary appropriate for his age? What is his relationship with his interlocutors? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you write authentic dialogue highlighting your characters' individuality and captivating the reader.

Tip: Take inspiration from conversations you hear in everyday life from people around you. Identify the phrases often used, the way of speaking, and the language tics of each other.

Show rather than tell

Dialogues can be very useful for expressing a character's feelings or illustrating the links that connect different protagonists. However, these mechanisms must be tactfully implemented, relying on the reader's intelligence. As a result, we prefer to show a character's emotional state rather than explain it, or even worse, explain it. Consider nonverbal communication for this. A character's movements, posture, and expressions can convey as much information as their words. 

Vary speech patterns

Characters' words, and sometimes thoughts, can be written in direct or indirect speech. In the first case, the author provides a faithful transcription of what the characters say, punctuated appropriately (dashes and quotation marks). Next, the narrator reports the words within the story, either explicitly ("He told them about his vacation") or implicitly, when a verb does not introduce the content of the discourse. Using different types of pronunciation can help to energize your writing. Each has advantages and can contribute something unique to writing and layout.

Say more in fewer words

Sometimes the economy is the best way to express the depth of a character's emotions. Launching a character into a long monologue can be tempting to demonstrate their emotions' complexities. But it can also be fun to experiment with unspoken insinuations. Showing a character at a loss for words when overwhelmed by their emotions is a subtle way to stimulate the reader's imagination and empathy. It will also allow you to write more intelligent, meaning-laden lines for a more literary effect.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.


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