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#1 Jcrazy

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:24 AM

Dialogue: noun — a literary composition in the form of conversation. 

AKA the words in quotations. 

“<< These guys >>”

Get it? 

*Waits for response like on Dora the Explorer* 

Okay, good! Now we can move on. :D


Now we all love to read dialogue. We live for the moments in the book when the protagonist is speaking to her love interest (Princess Diaries, anyone?) or when there's that intense, climatic conversation between two characters. 

Reading it is awesome. But, writing it? 

Well, sometime's it's fun. Sometime's you want to just skip all the description and tricky stuff in between and just get right down to the conversation that's been building in your head all through the school day (maybe that's just me xD). 

But other time's you just kind of want to stab it in the face. You know, violently. 

So, here's the topic to help with that frustration! :D

Questions...
What's your strong suit—description or dialogue? 
Do you think your dialogue sounds like actual conversation?  
Do you need help? (I like helping :) )
How do you make dialogue...GOOD? (Lol, I'm being blunt here.)

ANYWAY, post your advice, problems, and ask for help! Dialogue is my strong suit, I'd be glad to help any of y'all. 

PS: Thanks to Meg (24moon100) for suggesting this topic. 

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#2 24moon100

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:44 AM

BAHAHAHA! Okay, is it just me or was that Dora explorer reference not the funniest thing ever? :P I couldn't have said it better myself Jamie, I'm very glad I made you create it. :)

Since I'm a psychic I kinda knew you'd have just the perfect thing to say. lol.

ANYWAY, about Dialogue:


What's your strong suit—description or dialogue?


Description is my strong suit. My dialogue is very very pathetic. :P


Do you think your dialogue sounds like actual conversation?


No. Haha. Well, I mean, sometimes it can. But most of the time it seems forced and choppy.

Do you need help? (I like helping )

I NEED HELP! :) A question, for starters, would be: How the heck do you know when to jump into a conversation? When do you know when to stop?

Like, i don't know, I just have trouble jumping into it, you know? Its like: oh I should probably have someone say something now...what to say what to say....

How do you make dialogue...GOOD? (Lol, I'm being blunt here.)

Now, even though I suck at it, I think I have some good advice. Don't make someone sound cheesy and unrealistic. It takes away from the character BIG TIME. Make it as close as possible to what someone would say in real life.


OKay. I wish I had more to say but I need more advice than I can give advice. :)

-MEG

Edited by 24moon100, 30 October 2011 - 12:44 AM.

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#3 Jcrazy

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:06 AM

Hahaha, okay. You make it sound like you suck at dialogue, which you definitely DON'T. Maybe it's not your strongest point, but you can WRITE it and pull it off at least! Haha.

How the heck do you know when to jump into a conversation? When do you know when to stop?

Like, i don't know, I just have trouble jumping into it, you know? Its like: oh I should probably have someone say something now...what to say what to say....


Well, think of it like description. ;) You don't describe something for no reason. There's a purpose—you want to SHOW the reader something usually. Explain it to them, whatever. Dialogue's the same. You don't just have it because you feel like you NEED it. It can tell something, explain something, etc. It can also be used as witty interruptions, like we know I overuse :P, or as a form of other entertainment. You know to start it when you need to do something like that. And it's not like it ever STOPS or STARTS really. It's continuous—just like how description is ongoing. You know?? :) You just switch between the two.

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#4 24moon100

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:33 AM

Ha. Okay okay, my dialogue NEEDS WORK. :P Actually, judging by my old writing, I guess I was being a little harsh on myself.

And your right. It doesn't have a start or stop button (I totally have no idea why I it said like that). What I meant to say was that I have trouble making it flow in with my story. I'll have a descriptive paragraph then I'll alternate between some dialogue and that. But sometimes it just doesn't feel like its WORKING. Like what they are saying isn't very...whats the word...realistic.

It can also be when a character is alone and someone suddenly comes into the picture or when someone leaves the picture.

Do you get what I'm trying to say? Lol.
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#5 Jcrazy

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 02:27 PM

Haha. Okay, I do think I get what you're saying.

To make dialogue realistic...
-Don't make it too random.
-Make there be a REASON for what the character is saying
-Don't make the way the characters say something too complex. Most people speak as simply as possibly.
-Everybody talks/says things differently. Don't make them all have the same "voice."

Something that helped me a lot is to listen to those around me talk. Everything someone says is dialogue and some people say some pretty good and insightful stuff :P lol, I don't think they'd notice if it happened to show up in my story.

Plus, TV. I've watched way to much in my life and listening and watching the way conversations flow and build is actually been really helpful.

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#6 Dramagirl221

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:43 AM

I love Dialogue! So, so much.

What's your strong suit—description or dialogue?

Definitely dialogue. Descriptions are just something I write, because it's necessary (Well, I enjoy describing how people look, but places and things? Not so much). Diaologue is really fun to write though.

Do you think your dialogue sounds like actual conversation?

Hmm, yeah, I think so, I don't know if anyone else does. Sometimes my dialogue doesn't sound exactly like something people would say, but it doesn't sound unnatural either... I don't think...


You know, a though thing about dialogue is breaking it up. You can break it up with actions,


"That's a big piece of pie," said Ralph, scratching his arm.


Or you can do the action first and then the dialogue.

Ralph scratched his arm. "That's a big piece of pie."


Then there's the 'said' stuff.

"That's a big piece of pie," Ralph said. He scratched his arm.
"I know," I responded.


Not to mention saying the dialogue first and THEN the action.

"That's a big piece of pie." Ralph scratched his arm.


I use all those different types a lot when writing dialogue.
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#7 Dramagirl221

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:45 AM

Oh yeah, sorry for double post, but there's also when you write straight dialogue with NO "said." Such as:

"That's a big piece of pie."
"I know."
"You planning on eating all that?"
"Yup."
"Jeez."


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#8 24moon100

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 12:04 AM

Haha. Okay, I do think I get what you're saying.

To make dialogue realistic...
-Don't make it too random.
-Make there be a REASON for what the character is saying
-Don't make the way the characters say something too complex. Most people speak as simply as possibly.
-Everybody talks/says things differently. Don't make them all have the same "voice."

Something that helped me a lot is to listen to those around me talk. Everything someone says is dialogue and some people say some pretty good and insightful stuff :P lol, I don't think they'd notice if it happened to show up in my story.

Plus, TV. I've watched way to much in my life and listening and watching the way conversations flow and build is actually been really helpful.


Thank you Jamie! That really just cleared up a huge rain cloud there! Really good tips and it totally helped me!
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#9 Sapphireshell19

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:19 AM

What's your strong suit—description or dialogue?
It really depends on my mood; like sometimes I can describe a scene (or a person/people) and build it almost to perfection (in my mind, lol) and then completely fail when I have to write dialogue for this brilliant scene that I have built. And then other times its the other way around, I have all this great dialogue in my head but I can't figure out how describe what is actually happening or the people who are in the scene. It's very frustrating and the annoying thing is, it really all has to do with the mood I'm in. Though I am getting better with them both and getting into the mood to write both at the same time.

Do you think your dialogue sounds like actual conversation?
Sometimes I do. As I'm writng the dialogue, I say what I'm writing out loud and that seems to help.

Do you need help? (I like helping)
I don't think so. Not badly at least. But I'll keep on practising.

How do you make dialogue...GOOD? (Lol, I'm being blunt here.)
It's important (I think) to have a flow to your dialogue and yet at the same time try and keep in the imperfections of human speech, like 'um,' and 'ah' the stuttering over words.
In some books, movies and TV shows, all the people in them speak perfectly, they never get a word wrong or stutter and I don't find that believable.
When we speak in real life; we stutter, we mispronounce words, we talk too fast, we talk too slow, we slur our words together, we are sometimes interrupted in the middle of a sentence or a word, so that our speech is left incomplete. We do not speak perfectly.
I think to make your dialogue good, you should put in these flaws that we all have from time to time, it makes your writing all that more believable and real. We are not perfect, we do not speak perfectly and in our writing we should, you know, show these imperfections. Well, that's just what I think and what I try to do with my writing.
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#10 Jcrazy

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:04 AM

^You are good with dialogue. I mean, in the scenes you've made up in the PD books it's good at least :)

I should have thought of better questions at the beginning since y'all are all actually answering that xD lol.
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#11 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:25 PM

My dialogue pretty much stinks. But that's okay, because I'm working on it a bit.

xoxoArtemis
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#12 24moon100

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:43 AM

Just wanted to brag on here, since I have nothing else better to do. And this topic is kind of dead...

Just wanted everyone to know that I have improved greatly with dialogue now thanks to this thread and everything ya'll have said. :) I take a lot of advice with me and this has been a real help.

Whoo. That's it. Hope you enjoyed my pointless post. :lol:
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