The art of writing dialogue is gradually being lost. Because of texting and chat rooms, many people have forgotten, or never learned how to represent direct speech in a dialogue. One way to learn is to be an avid reader, but with today’s fast pace of living some just don’t get the time, the following is a brief explanation of how to write dialogue in a story.
· Writing implements
Work out if you are going to represent the speech as first, or third person depending on the point of view of the story. write the actual words that the person said in the dialogue.
Enclose these words with quotation Marks, which are also called Inverted Commas. ” “. ensure that the quotation marks enclose only those words spoken by the character in that story.
Indent the quoted words of the character, and use a new line when changing to the speech of another person. A rule to remember is ‘New speaker, new line’.
Identify who has spoken those words by writing he said, or she said, after you have closed the quotation marks. You may put the identifier before the quoted words in some cases but usually they come after the spoken piece.
Vary your identifiers with different synonyms of the word ‘said’. for example, you can use grumbled, yelled, shouted, whispered, cried, intimated, instead of said depending on the situation.
Take out the identifiers after it is established who is spoeaking. It becomes tedious to read he said, she said, they said, so after a dialogue is begun and the reader knows for sure through the words who is speaking, you can even dispense with the identifiers altogether and just use quotations and indentations for the spoken words.
· Sometimes it is better to have your characters tell the reader what is happening through dialogue.
· Sometimes the author should tell it through prose.
· Make sure you vary your identifiers and speech verbs.
· Make sure you close the quotations.
· Many writers forget to put the ” at the end of a line.
· Always put the period inside the quotation marks.