Hello fellow writers!
Do you struggle to write dialogue? Do all of your characters sound the same? Does the dialogue in your novel feel awkward or stiff? We're going to change that with this article. Read on for my top tips for writing engaging and realistic dialogue.
Tip One: Observe
Pay attention to how real people talk and engage in everyday life. How do you talk? How do your friends talk? Remember, real people in real conversations bicker, especially if they are siblings or family members. They also don't repeat themselves, especially if they are shy or saying something embarrassing. They use nicknames, and sometimes they don't use proper grammar. If someone is angry or upset, they won't respond, and if someone is ignored, especially if they are an authority figure or can't pick up on social cues, they will continue talking even if the point is only to eliminate silence.
Tip Two: Read it Aloud
Not only is this tip helpful for catching mistakes in your novel, but it also will help you write realistic dialogue. Are your sentences too long? Too short? Is your character's speech too perfect? Does the conversation sound natural when you read it aloud?
Tip Three: The Delete Button is Your Friend
Does the dialogue advance your plot? Is it revealing a character trait? Are you just using dialogue to dump information on your readers? Sure, small unnecessary snippets of dialogue are true to life, but in a novel, your readers, and your word count can do without those useless bits of conversation. Use dialogue that is relevant and has an impact. Remember you don't have to tell your readers everything upfront and you don't have to repeat yourself later either. Your readers are smart. They'll remember the necessary details.
Tip Four: Break Up Your Dialogue With Action
Readers don't want to read pages of dialogue unless they're reading a play. Breaking up your dialogue makes it easier for your readers to read your novel. What is your character doing? What's happening in the world around them? Think about these things and sprinkle them in amidst the dialogue. This will help your dialogue seem natural and believable.
Tip Five: Ask a Friend
We will always read our work and see the perfection in it, but by utilizing a critique partner, a beta reader, or an editor, we can see the little imperfections sprinkled within and make adjustments. Thus, our dialogue can become more natural and realistic.
I hope all of you enjoyed this post on writing realistic dialogue. Do you want to share some of your tips and tricks? Be sure to leave them down below so we can all learn and grow together.
Until next time!