Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - A Bit more about Dialogue #MFRWAuthor #BWL Publishing #Writing #Dialogue

Alone with the kinds of dialogue, one thing to be aware of is tags. If you're reading a play, the name of the character speaking is written but when you're reading a book, you need to know who is speaking. Said and asked are the most common tags. She said. He asked. That sort of thing. There are other words that can be used and some that might make a reader shake their head. He postulated.  She grunted. You don't really grunt words. One of the ones I've seen is She hissed. Unless there are a lot of s words, hissing them would be difficult.

Letting a reader know who is speaking can be done in other ways. By using a character's action or reaction. Mary crossed toward him. "What are you doing here?"  John scowled. "I don't get what you're talking about. Using these actions or reactions identifies the speaker and shows a bit of what they are doing.

Another thing some writers do is use adverbs to get across a bit of color to the person's speech. "I don't believe a word you've said,"Mary said haughtily. "Go away," he said glumly.This is all right but showing is more effective. Mary's eyes iced. "I don't believe a word you said." His lips turned down and he lowered his eyes. "Go away."

Another thing is avoid are soliloquities. This is where a person goes on and on making the dialogue into a paragraph or more." What happens here is the reader forgets what the character is talking about. Break these long bits apart with some kindof action or reaction by the listener.

Now a word about dialect. Use this sparingly. I once read a book by a favorite author that I put aside because the characters were so heavily into dialect that I had to stop and puzzle the meaning of every conversation.

Next week, I'll give a check list for you to use when revising the dialogue in your story.


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