Monday, 6 November 2017
WALT use dialogue in writing
Rules for using dialogue
- Make sure it serves a purpose - if you could read the story without the dialogue and everything still made sense, you don’t need that dialogue. There needs to be a point to the dialogue. Does it drive the plot forward? Does it tell you something about the character?
- Don’t overuse dialogue tags - said her, said him, said said said said. Sometimes you need to use more interesting tags (replied, quoted, explained, responded) or sometimes you don’t need to use any tags.
- Don’t make them talk in a vacuum - in life, other stuff happens while you are talking. Making coffee, coughing, checking phones, etc.
- Write dialogue like someone is talking - most of the time people don’t speak in full sentences.
- Remember who your characters are - an old lady wouldn’t be screaming, a joker would always say something funny, a mean old man wouldn’t use manners.
- Use the right punctuation.
Two people talking
“Hi” said Edith
“Hi” replied Lia while she adjusted her glasses.
“How’s life treating you?
“Who's your favourite teacher?
“It’s a secret?”
“Mine is Mrs Barlow” interrupted Joshua as he put down his coffee.
“Yeah she was a good teacher” Edith agreed nodding her head.
When two people are talking you don't need to say 'said Edith said Lia' each time. Once you have established who the characters are, they can just talk and you don't need to say it again and again. When you add a new character (Joshua) you need to say who talked afterwards to re-establish the order.
*make sure your characters are not in a vacuum - Joshua put his coffee down, Edith nodded her head, Lia adjusted her glasses. People move as they talk, you need to include that!*
One person talking
Joshua put down his coffee. “My favourite teacher is Mrs Barlow” he thought.
*When only one person is talking you just keep writing across the page, don't skip down*
Finish these examples!
The old lady got onto the bus slowly. Left foot up. Right foot up. Left foot up. She went to take her seat at the front of the bus, walking to the back would take her an eternity. She glanced at the front seat.
**add your dialogue here**
“FIRE! FIRE!” screamed the beautiful young lady. She was trapped in her apartment, the flames roaring around her. She looked out the window, it was a two story drop. She saw people staring up at her from the street.
**add your dialogue between the lady and the people here - goal is to get her safely to the ground**
The young boy trudged through the supermarket. He looks shifty, like he was up to no good. He picked up the chocolate bar and slipped it gently into the pocket of his oversized jacket. John, who was packing the shelves further down the aisle called out
**add your dialogue between the young boy and John - explain what happens next?**