Unlock the power of expository dialogue in fiction
At the start of a new term of writing classes, I always ask my students if there are any particular aspects of fiction writing that are causing them concern. And every term, at least one writer – and usually more – tells me that they’re worried about writing dialogue.
Primarily, they’re worried about making their dialogue sound natural. Fair enough. Our primary access point to a narrative is through character, and having a character say something at odds with how we understand the operation of normal human communication is a great way to knock your reader out of the story. But unless you’re going absolutely wild with fancy phraseology and dense, complicated language… you probably have more leeway than you think before you go off the rails.
Here’s why “naturalism” in dialogue is much less important than you might think.
Dialogue. It’s an amazing tool for a writer, and often underappreciated. It’s also one of the most pressing concerns that students raise in my writing classes: how to use it, how to get it right, how to make it sound “natural.”
And it’s probably the most frequent formatting error I see as an editor.
For something that most of us do every day without thinking about it, we sure do seem to panic about the spoken word when it comes time to put it on a page. But, honestly, writing dialogue doesn’t need to be scary. Read on for five tips and tricks that will help you get it working for you and not against you, and then go ahead and make dialogue your best writing friend, as it rightfully ought to be.
Tips, tricks & advice to help your writing shine
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