Careful use of DIALOGUE will give your story life.

How can you make the dialogue you use in a story sound natural? When you read a story do you become aware of tiresome dialogue, wondering if will ever sound real or familiar?

The main functions of DIALOGUE are to advance the plot, and to give information of the story.

It also shows the characters’ traits., like strength of will, or determination, or of a weakness, or habitual lying. DIALOGUE should make the story seem real and give it life. One point you should strive for is to be right to the point. It is important to avoid rambling or to have one character being too wordy, or boring.

Don’t be afraid to use the word ‘said.’ When possible, show the emotion, rather than “it was said hastily, or angrily, etc.” For times like these your characters could be livid, raging, harsh or any number of descriptive phrases but not by just saying he or she is. Showing  the emotion always tops saying..

Be sure to use proper punctuation, usually a comma after the line spoken, and if you identify the speaker at that time, it is also necessary to change sentence or each paragraph for each speaker.

If you have any doubt that your sentences are sounding real, try them on a recorder or on a friend. Sometimes simply saying them out loud is enough to give them the ring of truth..

How you use DIALOGUE can make or break a story. I remember reading a boring book that was all description, and then again I don’t want to ‘hear’ people talking ad infinitum, with no substance to back it up. The good use of Dialogue is an art form.