Who said that? Some thoughts on dialogue

Dialogue is one aspect of writing fiction on which many inexperienced writers stumble.

I know I did.

In my early years my dialogue was… well… to be frank, it was appalling. I didn’t know what I was doing. Years later I still struggle, but it comes more easily and, I hope, sound more natural.

Some thoughts on dialogue

  • Dialogue is tricky – it takes plenty of practice to get it right.
  • Dialogue is not like conversation, so don’t record everything a character says.
  • Make dialogue authentic and realistic – this takes practice.
  • Dialogue must move the plot along.
  • Dialogue can show character in a more powerful way than mere narrative.

For a longer discussion on this aspect of writing, Joanna Penn on her blog The Creative Penn has an article called My Dialogue Sucks: tips for improving dialogue in your novel. It’s well worth a read.

‘Good writing,’ said Trevor. ‘I hope you get the dialogue right.’

‘Thanks,’ said his readers. ‘That was most helpful.’


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