“It’s not just the quotation marks that make a dialogue; but what’s within.” – Kavipriya Moorthy
Dialogues between two; A romantic discussion that says more with less words. These form a major part of a novel. There are wonderful writers like Nicholas Sparks and John Green who pen down spectacular conversations that would nail your brains with enchantment. How many of you love these conversations? There are blogs which feature quotes and smart conversations, let’s have a sneak about phrasing a good conversation.
There are different ways to follow:
Kavipriya: Hello, where are you?
Ajay: On the way, and you?
“Hello, where are you?” asked Kavipriya. “Am on the way Kavi, and you?” asked Ajay.
Kavipriya called Ajay and asked “Where are you?” for which he replied “Am on the way,”
All three were boring isn’t it? Let’s avoid a few errors and ensure they are interesting.
Mistakes to avoid:
1) Don’t repeat the names throughout – This says that you don’t have the confidence that your readers are attached to the book to understand who says what. Use it where it is ambiguous, after a point when your readers are involved, they would know who is talking what.
2) I recommend avoiding the “Example 1” type
3) Don’t follow the emotion with every dialogue, stop after a point as the reader will mentally know how the character feels.
4) Replace the words “Said” and “told” when necessary and use a word that makes sense in the context
5) “Show” don’t narrate from author PoV
Example: “Preethi took her stethoscope and walked out” instead of “Preethi is a doctor”
6) Use italics if the dialogues are a part of the paragraph – recommended
7) Before starting the dialogue, give the backdrop of where it is happening. Don’t let your readers imagine two in an empty white room of four walls
8) If the next character starts talking before the first could complete use ‘Dash’
Example: “Actually, I was about to-“
“It’s okay am leaving just inform him,”
9) Dialogues are generally cute, hence keep it as short as possible.
Example: “If you’re a bird, am a bird”
10) Follow the mood, emotions, and character of the person in the dialogues
Let me shamelessly promote a cute dialogue from my very own debut “I don’t wear Sunscreen”
“Do I smell breakfast?” he asked.
“I smell eggs, where? You have them hidden?” he pulled her handbag.
“That’s my hair, I applied an egg to give it some shine,”
“Oh man, I will take you to a nice parlour this weekend Dolly,” he smiled.
“Huh, no way, I don’t visit parlours often, just for haircuts and that too once in a year,”
“I know, that’s why I am taking you this weekend,”
“No, I don’t want, please,”
“Come on, how will they make money then? They depend on us, let’s buy them food,” he chuckled.
“What’s your brain made up of, Sai? How can you come up with such an excuse to visit the parlour?” she laughed.
Share your thoughts below! Let’s phrase better!