Do’s And Don’ts of Dialogue

images-2People Do:

  • People interrupt each other a lot.
  • People Rarely complete a sentence at all.
  • People exaggerate, prevaricate, and lie.
  • People pause. Conversations aren’t continuous, silence is important.
  • People use slang words. They also say uh, um, and yeah a lot.
  • People use profanity.
  • People pair verbal communication with body language.

In real conversations, people also chatter endlessly about nothing, but that’s not something you want to include in your novel. Remember dialogue has to move the story forward.

People Don’t:

  • People don’t make long speeches unless of course, they are making a speech. Conversation involves a lot of back and forth, in very short phrases.
  • People don’t talk in long complex sentences.
  • People rarely talk about things they already know unless a question is asked.
  • People rarely say the name of the person they are conversing with and almost never more than once.
  • People don’t use proper grammar during day to day conversations.

Eavesdrop on conversations at the mall, restaurant, church social, coffee house… I think you’re getting the picture. You can pick up some great examples of dialogue for that next best selling novel you are about to write.

Reminder:  Dialogue and conversation are not always the same. It’s important that you know the differences. I would recommend that you visit my blog: Dialogue Vs. Conversation: They’re Not The Same!.

Something to think about.

-Jan R

Do’s And Don’ts of Dialogue