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

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2
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3answers
474 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 distracting....
2
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1answer
72 views

Can a statement that is incorrect still characterize someone as wise?

This is a discussion I had with another writer. In a screenplay, a young man who is being led astray by a charismatic character lies to that person's wife to avoid exposing the other character's ...
2
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1answer
24 views

Formatting a Story Teller's Dialog

I'm writing a short story in which a story teller (the possibly-historic Aesop) addresses an audience. He tells his short story (within my short story), after which I will describe dialog between him ...
2
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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
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2answers
208 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 ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Making a disinterested character speak [closed]

In the novel I am working on, there are few major characters who are in position of power, and are not interested in speaking to the protagonist at all. What are some techniques using which we can ...
2
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1answer
169 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 ...
2
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3answers
111 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
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1answer
273 views

Does there have to be a difference when writing different genders? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The opposite sex in first person? How to write realistic female dialogue Is there an inherent difference in how man and women speak that would translate to writing dialogue?...
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0answers
52 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
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4answers
260 views

Am I using too much dialogue?

In some of my writing, nearly every paragraph is pure dialogue, with very little exposition or description. On one hand, I feel like it flows smoothly, with little distraction, but on the other, I'm ...
1
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5answers
80 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 ...
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3answers
3k views

How should I write “shush” in a narrative?

I said shshshsh! I know I could say shush, but there are times when I really have to say shshshshsh. What would be the best way of writing this. Maybe Shhhhhh?
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1answer
30 views

Quotes around long backstory narrated by a character

I am working on a novel in which the characters talk to the protagonist and explain lot of backstory. It can run into tens of pages - essentially the entire story is told by the character to the ...
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4answers
132 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 ...
1
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1answer
486 views

How can I write dialog to express groveling?

How can you write dialog where someone is groveling? I'm thinking of something like this: "Why were you late for work? Explain yourself." "Sorry" The response would be the person groveling....
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3answers
801 views

Making a female character sound more boyish/masculine

There are two characters in the following dialogue. One of them (Yuki) is a tomboy. She has short hair, dresses like a man, and like girls. I want to make her sound more masculine (but not exactly ...
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2answers
41 views

The order of says in the present tense

Here are two lines of dialog: "I don't know what order to put this in," says Max. "I don't know what order to put this in," Max says. When is it better to use one over the other? Is one preferred ...
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2answers
85 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 ...
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2answers
250 views

Should write “I/he/she said” in dialogue with ambiguous action tags?

I'm not very sure if they count as dialogue tags. Here's an example: “Sorry if I made you uncomfortable,” Akiko suddenly said, placing her hand on my mine. “But you know me, I just keep going ...
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1answer
42 views

Formatting dialogue and single lines

Consider the following exchange: "Hello" "Hi" They were sitting on the bench. The dialogue lines are indented. Should the descriptive sentence also be indented? What if we had "Hello" ...
1
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1answer
31 views

capitalisation after punctuation in dialogue

I've seemed to have a problem with getting this right and doubting myself. In regards to writing dialogue, do you follow up with capitalisation after punctuation marks? Can someone tell me which is ...
1
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3answers
69 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 ...
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1answer
79 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 ...
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1answer
84 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 step-...
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2answers
65 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 ...
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2answers
123 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?
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1answer
173 views

How should you format short speech by consecutive speakers?

I understand that you should have a new paragraph for a new speaker however what should the indentation be with subsequent speakers like this? I have this case in my writing, each is currently ...
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2answers
933 views

Is this dialogue and situation intriguing (short story)?

This is the continuation of a story I mentioned in a previous story. I would like to know if the reader would feel intrigued by the dialogue and situation (a girl who seems to be a stripper is lying ...
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2answers
35 views

Writing dialogue, present or past tense “said”

This may seem like an off-topic question, but it's really more about writing than about the grammar. I use a lot of dialogue in my writing, sometimes too much, but while I'm writing it, though the ...
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1answer
361 views

Good idea to write a scene with just pure dialogue exchange?

I'm sure you don't remember me. Asked quiet a few questions a year ago. Never came back for round 2. Was working on your advices. Writing. I'm nearing the climax of my novel. There's a scene. Sort ...
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2answers
103 views

Normal structure for Dialogue paragraphs

Now I'm not sure whether this is something that's an accepted teaching with regards to structuring paragraphs, or just something that is commonly used... I'm talking about paragraphs that are ...
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3answers
363 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 ...
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4answers
201 views

A good approach to show dialogues over radio communication?

The novel's in first person. I'm working on a scene where there are five people dispersed on different floors of a building, all talking to each other via tiny mics and micro-earpieces. The ...
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1answer
177 views

Do characters sound too similar if they use the same words/expressions?

This is the draft of a story I'm writing (I removed the descriptions): “Sure they allow visitors?” I asked An-Mei as we headed to the pond. “It's OK,” she said. “It's not solitary confinement,...
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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. ...
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0answers
293 views

Parenthetical phrases within dialog [closed]

I'm curious about the history and use of parenthetical phrases within dialog. I offer two contrasting examples: An example of an "unvoiced" parenthetical phrase inside dialog from Pride and ...
0
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3answers
121 views

How to do dialogue?

Whenever I'm writing, I use this style: "I don't see why I have to put up with this nonsense." I muttered. However, I see this type of writing in books: "This room is full of idiots," he ...
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3answers
82 views

Should I close this quoted paragraph?

I have a paragraph of dialog which technically continues into the next paragraph, but I want to interject a "she continued" almost immediately into the second paragraph. So should I close the quote on ...
0
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5answers
128 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
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3answers
75 views

Need help with hospital dialogue

I'm writing a story where the main character gets burned pretty badly. He's admitted into the hospital, and he's on a trolley, which is moving. He just got in, and he's in critical condition. I'm ...
0
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2answers
82 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 ...
0
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2answers
48 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. ...
0
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2answers
117 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 ...
0
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4answers
28 views

How do I convey messages that are clear, but unspoken?

So much of communication is nonverbal - facial expressions, body language. Often, it's entirely clear what somebody is thinking and conveying even if they aren't saying a word. How can I portray this ...
0
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1answer
110 views

Creating Dialogue [closed]

So I've decided to become an Author. Frankly I have respect for the learning curve. My biggest problem that I have run into thus far is the conversations between characters. So I would like to ask ...
0
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2answers
270 views

How to improve the ending of my short novel (mostly dialogue)? [closed]

In a previous question, I asked about how to improve the opening of my short novel. The following is the ending: "Can I talk about something that makes me feel strange?" he asked while searching ...
0
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1answer
22 views

Do you capitalize the names of governments in a story?

I know that names of countries, states, cities, and counties are always capitalized, but what about governments and organizations? In my novella there are basically 2 sections of space, and each have ...
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3answers
59 views

Do you have any tips on describing dialogue?

Specifically, how to describe a person's voice or tone of speaking, and ideas on how dialogue should be formatted.
0
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1answer
150 views

A more effective way of writing this dialogue:

I'm translating a story, and there is scene in it where an ex-colleague asks the man who had slapped the female protagonist the reason for his doing so. In reply, all he says is something like, “What ...