How to begin writing a dialogue

Commas go in particular places, as do terminal marks such as periods and question marks. Only what is spoken is within the quotation marks. Other parts of the same sentence—dialogue tags and action or thought—go outside the quotation marks. Dialogue begins with a capitalized word, no matter where in the sentence it begins.

How to begin writing a dialogue

Reveal Backstory Layering in backstory through dialogue is another way to keep your reader turning pages. Hinting at some incident for the first time is an automatic setup that demands a payoff. This accomplishes two things: Need help writing your novel?

Click here to download my ultimate step guide. Reveal Character Your reader learns a lot about your characters through dialogue. You can SHOW us by how they interact and by what they say.

Be Subtle Dialogue can accomplish a number of tasks. Subtext—where people say other than what they mean. This can be fun. My friend sold a short story to a general-market magazine years ago about a girl named Cindy who falls in love with the slightly older boy next door, who sees her as just a little sister type.

When they get to high school, Tommy is the big man on campus, captain of the football team, dating the head cheerleader, and pretty much ignoring Cindy. Tommy leaves for college and word soon gets back to Cindy during her senior year of high school that he and his girlfriend have broken up.

So when he comes home after his freshman year of college and is changing a tire on his car, Cindy just happens to walk outside.

She strikes up a conversation with Tommy, and he looks up, stunned. Who is this beauty…little Cindy from next door? Sidestepping—when a character responds to a question without answering it.

He wears bedpans for shoes and stomps about, flapping his arms and squawking. The children find it hilarious, but hospital directors consider it undignified and demand he stop. Patch Adams is trying to make one girl in particular—a hospital volunteer—laugh.

Finally, Patch leaves the hospital to open a clinic in the country. Imagine his surprise when that humorless young lady appears to help him set up. At one point, she goes outside to rest, so Patch follows and sits opposite her. What is it with you?

Suddenly, we understand what this girl is all about. The way she responded did not answer his question. Her problem had nothing to do with him or his humor.


Sometimes, you need to quit cracking jokes and just listen. And an example of sidestep dialogue. Silence The old truism that silence can be golden rings true for our last technique.

Many, including Abraham Lincoln, have been credited with the line: He lit a cigarette. Linda shook her head.Knowing how to write dialogue the right way can be the difference between grabbing your reader's attention or putting her to sleep.

The Phaedrus (/ ˈ f iː d r ə s /; Ancient Greek: Φαῖδρος, lit. 'Phaidros'), written by Plato, is a dialogue between Plato's protagonist, Socrates, and Phaedrus, an interlocutor in several Phaedrus was presumably composed around BC, about the same time as Plato's Republic and Symposium.

Although ostensibly about the topic of love, the discussion in the dialogue.

Character Worksheets

Return to Writing for Children · Print/Mobile-Friendly Version. The children's story I was asked to critique began with description, continued with description, contained some dialogue here and there, and ended with author seemed to think that simply telling the story was adequate and didn't realize that stories without dialogue are borrrrring.

Dialogue will flow and read more naturally on the page if you train yourself to write the way you hear people around you speaking. Problem: Punctuating Dialogue Periods, commas, ellipses, quotation marks, tigers, bears you get the idea. Start a dialogue diary. Practice speech patterns and vocabulary that may be foreign to your normal habits.

how to begin writing a dialogue

Practice speech patterns and vocabulary that may be foreign to your normal habits. This will give you the opportunity to really get to know your characters. “Writing good dialogue is art as well as craft,” says Stephen King. As craft, dialogue serves several functions in any scene.

How to Write Captivating Dialogue in 6 Simple Steps - Jerry Jenkins