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Click on the Play button to hear a message from Anne. [audio m4a="http://www.scrivenervirgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Studying.m4a"][/audio] Read a play; it's all dialogue. Watch a film; the dialogue is the icing on the cake? By comparison, books are an easy read. The author should have provided a smooth ride for the reader. The way to learn how to write dialogue, is to study how other novelists do it. If you recognise dialogue as clumsy, ask yourself why. How...

Click on the Play button to hear a message from Anne. [audio m4a="http://www.scrivenervirgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Witnessing-dialogue.m4a"][/audio] In a radio play, the dialogue has to be good enough for the listener to 'get' the story, without much else apart from maybe sound effects. In all other circumstances, dialogue doesn't happen in isolation. In a stage play, there is a set, and costumes and props and the actors move about and pull faces - as well as speaking...

Click on the Play button to hear a message from Anne. [audio m4a="http://www.scrivenervirgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Listening-to-dialogue.m4a"][/audio] Listen to what people say In our everyday lives, the majority of the population can speak and write. As a writer you know that writing is not as simple as writing sentences and stringing them together into paragraphs. To make a good story, you need characters and a plot and … you know it’s not straightforward! Ditto with dialogue. Repeating verbatim what...

In 'normal conversation', an exchange can be a sequence of questions and answers to those questions. Here, for example, Jane answers Pauline's questions. In fiction, such an exchange has to be short, as it quickly becomes boring. For longer exchanges, the 'trick' is for the characters not to answer the questions. Or to avoid them in some way. To be oblique. Have your characters go off on a tangent, rather than act in a...

Click on the Play button to hear a message from Anne. [audio m4a="http://www.scrivenervirgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Pruning-dialogue.m4a"][/audio] In the Pruning course, the challenge was to cut your text by 10 percent. With dialogue, the pruning is straightforward: Avoid info dumping Aim for impact Cut the small talk Keep it brief: start late, leave early Avoiding information dumping It's tempting to 'educate' the reader about the world of your characters by having one character explain to another what's what. Done...

Click on the Play button to hear a message from Anne. [audio m4a="http://www.scrivenervirgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Said-is-dead.m4a"][/audio] One school of thought insists that the only verbs to be used are 'said' and 'asked' (or, in the present tense, 'says' and 'asks'). Another school of thought - the 'Said is Dead' brigade - would prefer to see alternative verbs. There are many, and the argument is that using these brings the text to life. I would recommend you make...

Click on the Play button to hear a message from Anne. [audio m4a="http://www.scrivenervirgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Purpose-ectivity.m4a"][/audio] If dialogue serves no purpose, it shouldn't be there. Delete it! As a reminder, these are possible purposes: To break up what might have otherwise been an overload of other fiction modes ie to create a balance diet for the reader To increase the pace of a story To lend power to the theme(s) of your story To advance the...

Click on the Play button to hear a message from Anne. [audio m4a="http://www.scrivenervirgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Software-tips.m4a"][/audio] I use Scrivener to write, edit and publish my material. And I use ProWritingAid as an editing VA (virtual assistant). What do I recommend for you? Software for writing purposes My advice is NOT TO USE SOFTWARE when you are writing, especially dialogue, and especially if you find writing dialogue difficult. It's a recognised fact that, when we type, our internal editor is...

Click on the Play button to hear a message from Anne. [audio m4a="http://www.scrivenervirgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Types-of-dialogue.m4a"][/audio] There are essentially two types of dialogue: Outer dialogue: spoken words presented within quotation marks Inner dialogue: internal thoughts, which might be presented in italic. Outer dialogue Outer dialogue is simply the spoken word, presented within speech marks. There are two style options: single or double quotes. If your book is being published traditionally, your publisher will dictate which style is to...