Dialogue is the life blood of any story. It brings the characters to life, moves the action forward and reveals important elements of the story and the characters. If used properly, it can also set the mood, create tension or increase the emotional drama of a scene without having to tell the reader that the characters are feeling this way.
You can learn to write great dialogue. There's certainly a creative skill involved, but you can also develop the skill. For example, if you're going to write a white teenage hooker from a very poor background having a conversation with a successful female African-American attorney, clearly you've got two people who are coming from completely different places, who each have completely different value structures.
The first thing you must do is ask yourself what a fifteen year old hooker sounds like when she talks. She'll likely use coke dialogue, hooker dialogue and the metaphor of the street.
So, if you didn't grow up on the street, how in creative writing and dialogue examples world do you learn to write a street hooker?
Luckily, your local library and bookstore carry street dialogue books, slang dictionaries, technical, military dictionaries etc. Independent bookstores are more likely to have them than the big chains. One thing you can do to help develop your ear is to start paying attention to the accents and speech patterns around you.
Television, especially documentaries, can also be a source for finding new accents and speech patterns of real people. In Riding the Snake, I have British characters. There are many subtle differences between the way Americans speak and the way the British speak, although they are both speaking English.
For example, the British don't say elevator, they say lift: You have to hear the rhythm of the attorney, of the young prostitute. She's perhaps from a terrible background, or maybe she ran away from an abusive situation before she could finish her schooling.
You start to feel those things and then you start to write the character. The character has to come from inside you.
When your dialogue starts to sound pretty good, then read it over. Be careful it doesn't get pretentious or "written" because you tried to put in all those cute phrases that you learned.
Don't put too much of the slang in; you can make it over colorful. Over time, you will develop an instinct for believable dialogue, and you will learn to make each of your characters sound distinctly different.
You must learn to create a sound for a particular character that can be read on the page and performed by an actor correctly. It's not just the actor's delivery that creates that - it's your delivery on the page. Does the character speak in short sentences?
Do you have a character that rambles? Is he or she uneducated? Does the character speak in perfect grammar or does he make a lot of grammatical errors? Is the character college-educated? Does he or she take real pride in the preciseness of the words? You can create a very stiff, very proper type of character by simply having him or her use large words that are unfamiliar to a large number of people and to have him or her use perfect grammar.
Other characters speak in sentence fragments and ramble when they speak. Some characters are street characters; clearly they have to speak with the dialogue of the street.
They might say, "Hey Momma, you be dusted down and fronted to the max. That's where the research comes in. One of the biggest mistakes that most novice writers make is to create characters that all sound exactly like they do.
This makes for flat-footed, uninteresting dialogue. Also, remember that people don't speak in complete sentences.If you must describe something embarrassing (sickness, for example), describing it indirectly takes more art and shows better taste. Vulgarity for its own sake only calls.
More on Writing Dialogue This is Part 2 of the CWN series on writing dialogue. (Click here for Part 1). For creative writing help and the chance to take a free fiction writing course, browse the . Mar 04, · Writing Fiction. Improve Your Dialogue With James Scott Bell - Duration: The Creative Penn 38, views.
10 Worst Things About Being a Writer (+ big news!).
Thinking about it, dialogue is almost exactly the opposite of concept writing – you have to hang loose, let go, be indirect and enjoy the texture and detail of it. Having said that, an ability to be logical and to-the-point, which seems to go with writing concepts, will be an important asset when it .
Complete lesson plans for a creative writing course. The English Teacher. The following unit is an example of this principle.] Writing dialogue is challenging and you might have an assignment where students first listen to what others say, and write down their words precisely in a dialogue journal.
To help you brainstorm, we put together this list of creative writing prompts to give you something to write about daily. Whether you write short stories, poems, or like to keep a journal – these will stretch your imagination and give you some ideas for topics to write about!