Dialogue as a fiction mode

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Dialogue is one of the many fiction modes. It’s a literary device – one that allows the writer to deliver  information to the reader.

  • Facts about the scenario: where and when the action takes place and who is involved
  • Facts about the characters: their names, their attitudes and behaviours, and their relationships with each other
  • Facts about the world in which the characters live and the action takes place: structures such as government, religion; the weather, etc

The alternative is to provide this information via exposition or description. Putting it into dialogue, where this can be done ‘naturally’, provides variety for the reader.


Download the Billy Goats Gruff story from the RedPen Editing Facebook group files.

Highlight all the dialogue. (It’s easy to spot – the words between quote marks.) What do you notice?

Repeat this exercise for the Gone Fishing story – but use one colour for Alf and a different colour for Bert. What do you notice?

Repeat the exercise for a scene from one of your own stories. What do you notice?

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