Tell It Like It Is Baby! – How To Create Memorable Dialogue

There are just some things we are not allowed to say in real life. Sometimes we want to tell someone just what we think of them, or what the real problem they are having is, but manners dictate we can’t.

That’s the beauty of the page. Our characters can say the things we have always wanted to say. Their words will stick with our readers long after they put the book down, and cause us to like the character.

So, how do we create memorable dialogue?

*Make it natural. If you listen to some of the conversations in a coffee shop, you will find that people don’t directly reply to every thing each other says. Avoid doing that in your dialogue, or it will sound wooden.

Example:

“Do you want to catch the game tonight with the gals?” Amy said.

“Yes. I’d love to go to the game.” Sam said.

BORING! Let’s mix it up. First of all you don’t want to say yes, if you already answer the question by your comments. Save yes for the times when you just answer with one word. Then, we need to spruce it up, make it more interesting. How are these girls really going to talk. Build their personality into their words.

Revision 1:

“Girls night out. What do you say?” Amy said.

“Rock on!” Sam said.

*Drop the speaker attributes and create meaningful action that shows personality and interaction with their surrounds. (It is especially helpful if you get more than facial expressions in the action beats.)

Revision 2:

“Girls night out. What do you say?” Amy draped an arm around Sam’s shoulders. She popped her gum.

“Rock on!” Sam slid her hands in the pockets of her black leather jacket. “Let’s Roll.”

These are a few things you could do with this section. Try your skills with dialogue, post a revision for the following :

 “Time for the homecoming game.” Dallas said.

“I want to finish my homework first.” Allen said.

(For additional tips on dialogue, check out http://www.mybooktherapy.com/category/dialogue/ )

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

4 thoughts on “Tell It Like It Is Baby! – How To Create Memorable Dialogue

  1. bethkvogt says:

    I love dialogue! I brainstorm in dialogue! My rough drafts are at 70% dialogue!
    LOL

    Great post, Michelle.

  2. Dallas walked up to his friend in the library and grabbed his shoulders. “Time for the homecoming game. Let’s go.”
    Allen frowned. “I want to finish my homework first. If I don’t get my grades up, I won’t make the basketball team.”

    Hi Michelle,
    I was trying to imagine why a high school boy would miss the homecoming football game. Knowing boys, I thought another sport must somehow be involved because studying rarely comes before sports. Ha! Now you know what my sons and their friends are like.

    Have a great day. I always appreciate your posts.

    Jackie

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Great dialogue add in! There are sports and then the occasional smart guy who would rather stare at plankton in a microscope. But, yeah….boys are all about the action sometimes!

      I really appreciate your faithfulness to my blog, Jackie. Glad you find it helpful!

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