Camali’s Fictional Writing Tips Post #2 - Dialogue, Part 1
edited: Wednesday, May 02, 2012
By Elizebeth Camali
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Posted: Wednesday, May 02, 2012
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Simple fictional writing tips for all fictional writers!
Writing dialogue is one of those things you, as a storyteller, will either love or hate. Depending on your personality and your writing style, dialogue can be thing that you enjoy the most about writing, or it will cause the great writing disaster known as the writer's block.
Generally, if you are a person who talks a lot and with a lot of people, writing dialogue is easier for you because that you inherently understand the flow and web of small talk and critical conversations. On the flip side, if you are the type of person who speaks only when spoken to and is the living embodiment of the silent stone warrior, it doesn’t mean that you will be a bad at writing dialogue (often the silent are the best observers, and that gives them good story perception). Nevertheless, dialogue is something that must be included in a story.
Now, why is dialogue so important? Dialogue is important because it has two purposes in story creation: 1) it advances the storyline and 2)it develops and/or personalizes your character (s).
Point #1: Advancing the storyline.
Dialogue advances the storyline because it allows your characters to interact with each other. The most common way we, as human beings, interact together is through talking. By using dialogue you can: cause conflict, educate the reader to the world you’ve created, have a character explain their reasoning behind their actions, etc. Dialogue is “story action in real-time” for your reader, so it makes the reader pay closer attention to what’s going on in your story. Too much description will annoy a good number of readers when reading a story. Readers want action, and dialogue is a form of action.
Point #2: Dialogue deepens your character’s personality.
Dialogue is hugely dependent on the character (s) you have created. For example, if your character is from the streets, shoots rival criminals, and curses, when you are about to write a scene where he is about to get drunk, having him say, “I shall now engage in the activity of alcoholic consumption, my dear sirs.” will not only make your reader go ‘huh?’ but will also destroy the authenticity of your story. If he were to say, “I’m gonna get crunk. Hell to the yea.” Or “Give me that bottle of rum now!” Then such lines would personalize your character and make him authentic. Authenticity is the key to story creation.
(Important Note: This is why, as a writer, you need to invest great amounts of time developing and creating your characters before you start writing. Understanding their past mistakes and future goals will allow you to write them well.)
More about Dialogue in the Camali’s Writing Tips - Dialogue, Part 2
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