Tips to write memorable dialogues for your story
Many writers often hit a blank wall when it comes to writing dialogues. Writing actual conversations is a little different than writing descriptive actions and prose. Writing a novel requires both the skills.
So, here are a few hacks that can help you write natural, impactful and memorable dialogues.
- Keep the dialogues brief and impactful.
Avoid writing paragraphs worth of dialogues. No one talks in essays. Even when your character narrates events and stories to a large group of people, there would naturally be some interruption, some questions and doubts from the listeners. Make sure that every word in your dialogue serves a purpose. Keep your dialogues brief and continuous. The exchange would seem real only if both parties get an equal space to share their thoughts and opinions.
- Use evocative dialogue tags.
‘Said is Dead.’ Not everything is said. People whisper, they shout, scream, stop mid-speech. Using the correct dialogue tag can make a lot of difference in how readers experience your writing.
For example, ‘he commanded,’ tells us so much more about the character and the action being done when compared to, ‘he said, loudly.’ Leave ‘said’ behind and explore more dialogue tags. They can give away so much more in a single word. It can make your writing more detailed and evoke strong responses from your readers.
- Take inspiration from how people talk in real life.
Conversations in real life are never monotonous. Sometimes they are serious, sometimes they are friendly banter. Observe how people around you talk. Every person talks differently. They use words differently. While some people speak quickly and use big, literary words, others might choose simpler words. Everyday conversations are also more varied. You do not focus on a single subject for the entire day. The tone, the subject, the people you talk to – all of these things keep changing. Ensure that your character does not speak in monotony and does not restrict themselves to speaking with a single character.
- Instead of long conversations, blend dialogue and narration.
Add narrative bits between your dialogues. People don’t just sit and talk. They continue to be physically active while they talk. For example, your mother might ask you about your day while reading a book and you might choose to answer her while looking around your kitchen for something to eat. Accompanying conversations with actions makes interactions feel more natural.
Have you noted down these hacks? Now, go and impress the world with your impactful dialogues.