Hi, I'm Ray Evans. I'm a certified copyeditor and proofreader.
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Are you ready to embark on the journey to create more engaging and believable
characters through dialogue? Well, gather around, my dear word wizards, and let's explore how you
can write the most dazzling, convincing dialogue for your characters while avoiding the pitfalls of
caricatures and stereotypes.
Listen to the Music of Speech
People have their unique ways of talking, don't they, Sparky?
You need to eavesdrop on real conversations to understand the nuances and rhythms of everyday
speech. Pay close attention to the hesitations, interruptions, and idiosyncrasies of how people
communicate. And remember, nobody's perfect – natural dialogue isn't grammatically flawless.
Keep it Snappy
Nobody wants to read a meandering soliloquy (unless you're Shakespeare, and even then…). So, keep
your dialogue brief and to the point. Make your writing concise, and let your reader's imagination do
the heavy lifting!
Give Each Character a Distinct Voice
Character development is an essential aspect of fiction writing.
Each character should have their unique voice. Consider how your character's background, education,
and personality will affect their speech patterns. Avoid blending voices – you don't want Prince Harry
to sound like John Falstaff!
Write Accents and Dialects with Respect
As you venture into the world of dialects and accents, be cautious, my dear author.
Balance authenticity with readability, and steer clear of phonetic spelling. Instead, sprinkle your
dialogue with a few choice words or phrases that capture the essence of the dialect without going
Show, Don't Tell
The words spoken between characters should serve as a window into their soul, you know what I
mean? Like when Anthony Blanche tells a joke, it gives you a glimpse into his innermost
thoughts and feelings. That's what great dialogue is all about, revealing a character's
emotions through their words and actions, instead of just flat out telling the reader how they feel.
Master the Art of Subtext
As the great philosopher John Keating once said, "No matter what anybody tells you,
words and ideas can change the world." Subtext is the art of saying one thing while
meaning another – it's the unsaid emotions and thoughts that lie beneath the dialogue.
Master the art of subtext, and your characters will come alive with complexity and depth.
Beware of Dialogue Clichés
Clichéd dialogue can drag down a brilliant story like an anchor. Instead of falling back on overused
phrases and worn-out expressions, strive for originality and freshness in your dialogue. Challenge
yourself to invent new ways for your characters to communicate – it's like sculpting with words!
Edit, Edit, Edit!
Finally, after you've written your dialogue, it's time for a little editing.
Read your dialogue aloud to see how it sounds. Trim unnecessary words, make sure each character's
voice is consistent, and pay attention to the rhythm of the speech. Don't be afraid to be brutal – good
writing is rewriting, after all. And there you have it, my dear authors, and make your dialogue sing
with authenticity and character. Happy writing!