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 | 900 Days Ago
Writing Dialogue: Potency of Dialogue--Mechanical Distribution--Naturalness-- Directness--Dialect--Situation--Three Resources to Meet Demands of Situation--Physical Effect--Ellipsis--Elements of Language--Style--Verbs of Utterance--Transcription of Speech for it Own Sake--Creative Process. When the writer of a story is not using narrative or description, he will be transcribing the speech of his characters. And in the matter of transcribing speech the writer of fiction has a chance comparable with that of the dramatist and the practitioner in the graphic arts. The effect of narrative or description upon a reader is secondary and derivative; the effect upon him of written speech or dialogue is very nearly primary. The fiction writer has not the actor's studied tones to give dialogue complete life and body, but the appeal of written speech is infinitely more direct and compelling than that of any other sort of writing. A word is a word, whether spoken or written, and cannot be read without setting up some echo in the ear. When the writer of a story describes its hero, a reader may or may not see an image, faint or distinct, behind the words. But when the writer sets down his hero's words, a reader cannot choose but hear. Even if the words be unnatural and stilted, they will be heard. That is why badly managed dialogue is so potent to ruin a story. The speech of the characters in a story is strongly impressive, whether for good or ill. The more powerful a tool, the more damage it will do if mismanaged. rn
 | 911 Days Ago
Do's and Dont's of Writing Dialogue: The main job of dialogue is to build characters. As with real people, your characters are revealed by what they do and what they say. Dialogue shows our characters arguing or staging a meltdown, and when dialogue takes place in a scene, the fictional world blooms: the reader slips into the kitchen, bedroom or office and becomes convinced that the characters breathe, cry, worry and steam. Like all fictional techniques, dialogue is artifice. It is not real speech, but a shorter, smarter, tenser, funnier, more poignant version of how we talk.


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