He said, she said, or what your characters are saying.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
51 views

Gerund Overkill

I like to use gerunds in my writing and I wonder if I'm overdoing it. I wrote this paragraph: I couldn’t help thinking to myself, who is this woman on the phone? And if it’s not Burns’ mother then ...
7
votes
7answers
399 views

How realistic should dialogue and character voices be?

I've heard a lot of conflicting suggestions in the past regarding dialogue, so I'm hoping I can get a solid answer here. Some people have told me that the best way to go about dialogue is to make it ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Show the translation of foreign language thoughts in a manuscript?

Background Part of an English story takes place in rural South America, where Spanish is the native tongue. Problem A Spanish character thinks to himself. In English (i.e., in the story's native ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

What aspects of written dialogue are important when giving characters a unique voice? [duplicate]

I have a project that I am working on in which I need to write quite a few fictional informal email correspondences between pairs of characters. I am not using these characters in any other context. ...
3
votes
5answers
109 views

What aspects of written dialogue are important when giving characters a unique voice?

I have a project that I am working on in which I need to write quite a few fictional informal email correspondences between pairs of characters. I am not using these characters in any other context. ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Does dialogue always need to have its own line?

I am doing stuff like this: "That's nice," he said. We went to the car and got our laptops and logged into Stack Exchange. and He stood up and looked me in the eyes. I could tell he was ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Fallacy of relative privation? Propaganda device? Unobtrusive slander? What is it? [closed]

I've asked this on EL&U: some of the answers were close, but no cigar. I'm looking for a term that one of the characters in my play will use to describe her enemy's dirty tactics. It is a very ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

When not to use commas before dialogue (and capitals)

I'm struggling with when to omit the comma before dialogue (as well as when to use capitals) in fiction writing. My understanding is that you would omit the comma before/after something like "he says" ...
0
votes
5answers
115 views

A self-absorbed female character: key words and pet phrases needed [closed]

I'm stumped. I can't come up with anything beyond "You're hurting my feelings" and "I'm not in a good place right now." Suggestions?
0
votes
4answers
99 views

How Much Dialogue Is Too Much Dialogue

I wanted to know How Much Dialogue Is Too Much Dialogue ? I'm writing chapter and i can't really seem to trim my dialogues since my all 4 of my characters are to talk to each other and interact with ...
5
votes
1answer
56 views

How does one indicate uncertainty in a quote?

When quoting the spoken word, and if one particular word is difficult to distinguish, how does one properly indicate the uncertainty if that particular word has been quoted correctly? The following ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Using comma splices in dialogue

At university, it was drilled into us to avoid comma splices like the plague, but I keep seeing them in all different types of famous, best-selling novels. I read things (all in dialogue, in inverted ...
1
vote
3answers
64 views

How do I write dialogue to evoke a historical setting?

I want to write a novel set in the 12th century. I can learn about the platform for the story, like city life and culture of people at that time, by googling on Internet. But I don't know how to write ...
8
votes
5answers
741 views

Using colons and semi-colons in dialogue

I've often heard writers say they don't like using colons and semi-colons in dialogue specifically. I don't often see colons and semi-colons in dialogue, but sometimes it just seems like it's by far ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Dialogue identifying the character that is currently speaking

I am writing a novel, and I am trying to find the right dialogue tags for identifying the character that is currently speaking. Here are some examples of two forms, and I am unable to decide which one ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Question about punctuation and action tags

I'm new here and a new writer in general. I'm trying to get a handle on action tags and punctuation and I'm wondering about these two examples: Claire huffs out a heavy breath, then speaks. ”I ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

How do I write in the language of a strict, serious character without using too much exposition?

I am working on a series of short stories and am having trouble bringing out the characteristics of one of my characters in descriptions and in his dialogue. My story is set in South Korea. One ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

2 points of view at the same time

I am writing a book about lions and other African predators. The main focus in the one I am working on is lions, but I do quite often refer to 2 big cats that aren't lions. Those are cheetahs and ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

writing dialogues using contracted forms of auxiliary verbs

where should we use contracted forms while writing dialogues? how do we chose which is better (say 'do not' or 'don't') in a particular situation while we are writing dialogues in our fiction?
2
votes
3answers
117 views

Angry tone of voice in a question

I am writing a story about friendly lions. It all starts with this 1 friendly lion searching for nomadic lionesses. His name is Anapumua Moto. He has a cheetah friend named Duma and a leopard friend ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Multiple personalities character's speach in text

I am writing about main character, which have multiple personalities. I know how i want to write them, but for reader it can be really disturbing and hard to for orientation. At the same time i will ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Punctuation before / after em dash and speech mark

I originally posted this question on the main English forum, but someone suggested it might be better posted here. Apologies if I have broken any forum rules. As I home in on the end of my first ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

How to write an instructor instructing others about complicated tasks?

I am want to write scenes in a story which include one character providing instruction to other characters on how to perform complicated tasks that require a lot of technical detail and applied ...
2
votes
5answers
124 views

Spacing out dialogue?

I'm an amateur writer. Whenever I write, I tend to put in too much dialogue and not enough story. What are some techniques I can use to space out my dialogue? Thanks in advance.
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Mixing dialogue and action in the same paragraph?

I know you can add dialogue to the same paragraph as an action to show who's talking, but what happens when a character is making a speech and it's broken up by actions (hand movements, looking at ...
5
votes
2answers
822 views

When Dialogue is used for more than one character?

When writing a dialogue for characters, say two or more who are speaking back and forth do you have to put who is speaking on every time you switch characters? Is it needed to put their name before ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Fragmented sentence

I have a book I am writing, and every time I go into a grammar fixing program, I get a lot of "Fragmented Sentences." Can some one explain to me how to fix these with out losing any part of the ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

When having a character ask a question…

Okay, which is the proper way of a character asking a question? and why is it better one way vs the other? 1.) "Why is it you always show up when you are not wanted?" he asked. 2.) "Why is it you ...
1
vote
5answers
71 views

How to handle dialogue?

I have difficulties to write more than simple dialogue that still works and is readable. So, I have two options here: Try harder, read more books with lots of dialogue and learn from them and apply ...
2
votes
4answers
239 views

Should I ever break up a long line of dialogue in different paragraphs?

I often second-guess myself in one particular scenario when writing dialogue. Convention says I should break different characters' lines in different lines or paragraphs (I've seen both), but what if ...
2
votes
3answers
309 views

How to format multiple inner voices, differentiating the text from dialogue? and omnipresent inner voice

For the occasional use of inner voice, Italics are usually recommended. However I have a protagonist who is speaking with himself all the time, and Italics use quickly becomes tiring and ...
1
vote
4answers
127 views

What is the role of memorable lines in movies?

I'm referring to quotes like, "Go ahead and make my day," or "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth." I've read that actors like them, because they are more likely to win prizes, and that ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

What is the correct formatting for actions taken before dialogue?

What would be the correct way to format the following exchange in narrative prose? Is it: Alice sits on the bench, silent. Eventually, I speak. "What are we going to do?" After a long pause, she ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Stutter that changes words mid sentence

I wanted to have someone correct themselves mid-sentence, and I remembered some guides I read on the subject. They only seemed to allow only the most basic of stutters, but I want one where someone ...
2
votes
4answers
155 views

Filter Words in Dialog

I realize there are lists of words that writers aren't supposed to use, but does the same apply to dialog? ...
4
votes
5answers
746 views

How to balance for readers who are not technologically literate

My story features two software developers who discuss computer-based things in the first chapter. It's not a significant part of the story, but it helps to establish who the characters are and what ...
6
votes
2answers
108 views

How to engage a child audience when my characters have no language?

Good afternoon all, I find myself in a predicament: I'm writing for 8-10 year-olds who, as I understand it, are very dependent upon dialogue to keep the story engaging. Unfortunately the protagonist ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

How to correctly punctuate this dialogue?

I have some dialogue between two people (a clerk and a person called John Doe). I want the clerk to say to John: "You're John Doe. Still." So I've punctuated it like this: "You're John Doe. ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Which one is the correct dialogue punctuation format?

I am writing my first novel and this the very first confusion I would like to clarify. As I am not a native English speaker, I find it very hard to understand the punctuation scheme in direct ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

simultaneous dialogues in novels and short fiction

Suppose that several individuals are speaking. There are two conversations occurring at once in the same place. Both are heard simultaneously by each person that is present. Each person participates ...
3
votes
5answers
191 views

How do I demonstrate ideological differences between characters who are politically not too different?

I'm currently writing a novel, in which two characters who are old friends are having an argument. I'm writing the argument to establish who the characters are and what their values are (the argument ...
4
votes
2answers
460 views

In a dialogue, how do you write that a character says a letter?

Since I don't know how to make the title less ambiguous, I will explain myself with examples. Example 1: imagine that in a dialogue between two mathematicians, one reads aloud the following sentence ...
5
votes
3answers
843 views

How to write a character who uses a lot of smalltalk without boring the reader?

Since a lot of what they say is by definition irrelevant to the plot should I just skim over it? I'm worried this might make their manner unclear to the reader and I don't want their impression of ...
4
votes
3answers
774 views

How to write a conversation

Conversation is the thing I have most difficulties with while writing stories. How do I write a conversation so it will be clear who said what, and in a way that's not like a court transcript? Should ...
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

Formatting for fading between a radio broadcast and the protagonist

Is it Ok to fade out the commentator’s voice before he’s finished his broadcast…? I’m trying to illustrate to the readers that the broadcast continues, whilst Jack and Richard go on with their ...
1
vote
3answers
287 views

Should I “spanglish” a Mexican character's dialogue?

I am working on a novel based in Mexico, and I am wondering if there are any strong opinions on whether or not I should put common phrases of speech in spanish even though all characters are speaking ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Children's Dialogue

I'm having some trouble writing dialogue (and emotive responses) for children in the age bracket of roughly 10-13. They end up reading more like adults with limited vocabularies and simple grammar ...
2
votes
3answers
99 views

A question about dialogue and paragraphs?

First question I've asked on here so hopefully it isn't a silly one. I am a little confused about a certain paragraph/dialogue convention I am using in something I am writing. Occasionally I have a ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

How to format the following dialogue without the parenthesis?

So the protagonist's boyfriend committed suicide. He left a suicide note. And now the detective is showing it to the protagonist: "So I'm the one who made him do it? "We read the letter. ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

How to structure paragraphs of dialogue properly?

I have two ways of writing dialogue. (1st way) Issac said in an angry tone, "I don't care what you want! Just leave me alone!" However, I comforted him and said, "All I care for is you. I can't ...