Dialogues are very important in story flow, but they are also not necessary.  If you’re going to use dialogue in your post, use it correctly. The last thing you need is to confuse your readers.

Here are some errors to avoid:

Stilted exchanges

The problem with first time/ amateur writers is that we tend to want to show off the English we know. While we do know what to write on the dialogue, the sentences often seem forced. Let your dialogue sound as natural as possible. You might also want to read it out loud with someone to see if it is something natural beings who are communicating might say. If that doesn’t work, try eavesdropping. Just make sure you are not caught!

Similar Voices

Voice is the author’s style, the quality that makes his or her writing unique, and which conveys the author’s attitude, personality, and character. With this technique, a reader can know a character’s level of education, mood etc. Now, imagine reading a dialogue where you don’t know who is who. It can be so frustrating. Each of your characters should have a unique voice.

Making small talk

Have you ever tried making small talk with someone you met at a party for the first time? It reaches another level of ‘awkward’ after a few minutes and that is how it feels for someone who has taken time to read your story. You don’t just put dialogue in a story for the sake of it. A dialogue must have a greater purpose in the story. It must provoke an action, reveal someone’s emotion and attitude towards something or someone.

Exposition

This is another name for ‘spoiler alert’. It is when a character explains the story in dialogue. If you have already told the reader what happens at the end, why should they continue reading? The essence of storytelling is to keep the reader hooked until the end.

Forgotten dialogue tags

Always ensure the audience knows who is speaking by using the ‘he said’ or ‘she said’ tags, but they should not be overused. Just use enough to guide the reader as to who is speaking.

Incorrect dialogue punctuation

Ensure that you don’t confuse your readers by using quotation marks correctly. Decide on your dialogue format, for example, single or double quotation marks, and use them consistently.

Do you have more advise on better dialogue in stories? Hit us up in the comments section!

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