Fivers for Dialogue

Hello, and welcome back! I keep saying that because I keep not posting things to the blog here. I keep striving to do better, you know, since this is like the one place I can get my mom to read anything I write. And then, most of the time, she just shakes her head and wonder what the hell I’m doing.

(That’s okay, mom, I wonder the same thing, trust me.)

Now that this intro is a bit long, let me get right to it. I’m going to start dropping some Fivers on you. Fivers, Chris? What in the… Fivers will be short, quick posts that convey the top five reasons for something related to writing or the process of writing. Today is dialogue!

  1. Dialogue advances the plot. Information is conveyed between characters when they speak. One example where this comes into play is when one character lies to another and a character acts upon that lie.
  2. Dialogue develops your characters. You see, the right dialogue provides emotional insight. Is your character angry and throwing out curse words? Are they upset and providing one word, clipped answers to big questions? Dialogue further develops your character by supplying details: does your character use the word muggle? They’re probably a Harry Potter fan. Does your character reference supporting the second amendment? They’re probably with the NRA.
  3. Dialogue conveys information without the need for long, protracted prose. Basically, dialogue helps you avoid the dreaded info dump. It can provide details on a character’s physical look or the environment.
  4. Dialogue provides a fertile garden for the use of subtext. You know, subtext, the undertones, the things that aren’t said. Imagine all those holiday dinners where everyone is smiling and laughing and tearing each other apart while doing so. Good times, but that’s what dialogue does.
  5. Finally, dialogue increases the pace of your story. A lot of writers think they’re not really writing if their work is dialogue heavy. This is a falsehood. You increase the white space and create “page turners,” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. At least, as long as your dialogue is sharp and interesting.

I’m always up for comments, so leave me some! Until next time, Brownies!

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