When done correctly, historical dialogue can be used as a tool to add polish and an air of authenticity. Done incorrectly, it can completely eject a reader from the story.
Dialogue is, in many ways, the heart of fiction. That's why it pays to get it right—or, at the very least, not wrong.
Some helpful tips for working your life into your fiction.
In: Character, Craft, Dialogue, Jeff VanderMeer, Plot, Stephen King, Storyville, Structure, Theme, Voice
Three essential books on writing by Stephen King, Donald Maas and Jeff VanderMeer.
From basic games to complex script analysis, actors have a thing or two to teach writers.
You've always heard the maxim, "Show, don't tell..." but almost no writing teacher ever explains... How. Discover how to strengthen your prose by unpacking abstract and static verbs into descriptive action.
By Robbie Blair
Want to improve your dialogue skills? This article looks at the mistakes writers commonly make.
By Robbie Blair
Six tips on creating a sense of a character's voice and dialect without resorting to painful phonetic representations.
Quotations marks, italics, em dashes, or none of the above: these are a few different ways to punctuate dialogue in your prose.
What is the function of dialogue, and how do you make it sing?
In: Character, Cliche, Dialogue, Grammar, INT/EXT, List, Plot, screenwriting, Syd Field, Top 10, Voice
What makes a reader hate a screenplay on sight? Here are 10 pet peeves - and fixes.
In: Craft, Dialogue, Discourse Analysis, Grammar, Grammar, Linguistics, List, Phrases, Sociolinguistics, Verbs, Voice, Word Play
What's that word doing there? When it comes to spoken language, nothing is accidental. Linguists are working on finding meaning in every 'oh,' 'um,' 'well,' and 'okay.' The results might surprise you.
In: Character, Craft, Dialogue, Literary Devices, Narrative Hooks, Plot, POV, Setting, Storyville, Structure
Writing a great narrative hook isn't easy, but it's one way to grab your audience and never let them go.
How do you write a good sex scene? By utilizing the right language, all five senses, and empathetic characters, you can seduce the reader into living the moment.
Writers who find themselves wrestling with point-of-view problems may want to consider a technique that combines the best of two narrative modes.
In: David Foster Wallace, Dialogue, Elmore Leonard, jeffrey eugenides, Judy Blume, List, Toni Morrison, Top 10
A list of some of the best conversation-creating writers out there.
The baddest of the prose villains, that one word that, when mis-used, can single-handedly wreck an entire page of fiction for me, if not the whole piece: As.
Writing authentic, compelling and engaging dialogue is one of the most vital yet misunderstood challenges of the writing process.
Many authors will tell you that reading and writing is the key to improving your work and getting published. In this column we examine the merits of three mediums OTHER than books.
By Rob Hart
Expressive dialogue tags are the mark of lazy writing, because they break one of the cardinal rules--they tell instead of show. This is why 'said' and 'asked' are all you ever need.
Maintaining action is paramount in fiction, but sooner or later we’ll need to deliver expository details for our stories to make sense. So, how do writers engage while providing character depth?
Smart actors use the stage business of peeling an apple or lighting a cigarette to create a layer of interest that dialogue alone can never convey. Learn to punctuate your dialogue with gesture and attribution to propel interest and achieve better pacing.
The temptation for new writers to answer every question raised in a fictional dialogue with a perfect, clever, instant response is very strong. Chuck demonstrates how this flattens the energy of a scene and what to do instead.