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Writing Dialogue

Dialogue Introduction
Dialogue should be true to life, but it

cannot be exactly true.


Real speech is often aimless, halting, or
unfinished.
Thus, the trick is to write dialogue that
seems real, but that is easy for the
audience to follow.

Devices that will help knit your


dialogue together

Repetition
One character picks up on a word that

another character has just said:


Character 1: Youre not open to any new
ideas. You wont even listen to a word
about immigration!
Character 2: A word! Ive listened to
volumes!

Interruptions
One character breaks in on another,

completing the first characters line.


Character 1: If only we could get enough

Character 2: Hard cash?

TAGS
In writing dialogue for a story, you start a new

paragraph each time the speaker changes.


Using tags helps the reader to know who is
speaking.
Id really like you to sit down, she said.
He whined, Im tired of watching this

movie.
What are you doing? she asked.
Thats stupid, hissed Julia viciously.

Use Action
Instead of getting in the TAG RUT, try

incorporating some action:


She pointed across the room. Get over

there!
She slammed her hands down on the
table. NO!

More Tips
Dont create non-parts with your characters

in dialogue. This is the agreeing, nodding,


uh-huh-ing character.
Work to reveal information from both sides
of the conversation.

And watch that punctuation

In his usual rush, Orion tumbled through the


door. Mom, Im home, he shouted.
Take your shoes of, she called.
Did you take your shoes of? he sassed
back.

Practice!
Use the comic strip on the following

slides to help you craft interesting


dialogue.
Step 1 = Study the scene
Step 2 = Write their words (the ones you
think theyre saying) as they would
appear in a comic.
Step 3 = Rewrite this into a paragraph
that uses tags and dialogue action. You
may add description if needed.

Practicing dialogue:
1. Think about what is going on in this scene.

2. Write their lines.

3. Then, re-write this as a conversation with tags and


action