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mari suggs

Wife, Mother, Author and Blogger of Life

HOW TO WRITE DIALOGUE

November 30, 2017

Happy last day of November! I hope you had an amazing month filled with gratitude. I want to remind you that if you didn’t sign up to receive your monthly gratitude list that it’s not too late, I’m still offering monthly lists. Tomorrow, December 1st I will be sending out December’s list, so be sure to sign up here!

Now, on to dialogue. Dialogue is one of the most important pieces of your novel and it’s why some editors/agents skip write to a section of your manuscript--that has dialogue, and begin the critiquing process right there. If your dialogue is strong, they keep on reading, if it’s not, it’s over, to the slush pile it goes. Today, I have three tips to help you write strong and effective dialogue. Make sure you read all the way to the end because I have a special treat for you.

If you’re more visual, you can check out this week’s video on the same topic here:

Tip #1: Avoid Adverbs

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We all love to use adverbs like “grimly” but, this is a big no-no because it’s a way of explaining our dialogue. Think of it in these terms, if you have to explain your dialogue, then more often than not, your dialogue doesn’t work. There are exceptions, like softly or clearly, for you don’t say something grimly in the same way you say something softly.

Tip #2: Said is the Best Tag

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We often get creative with our tags, but nothing works better than “said.” Anything else, is a form of explaining, for example, “He snapped.” Your dialogue should convey that the character has “snapped” without needing the tag as explanation.

Tip #3: Beat Anyone?

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Using a beat breaks up the dialogue and helps your reader get further immersed in the scene. For example, you can write something like this:

“But you promised,” Jess said.

“I don’t make promises,” Dave said.

“Stop fighting,” Tom said.

This could get a bit boring, but it’s necessary to add the tag because there are more than two people in the scene. But, if you add a beat, it breaks up the dialogue and helps the reader not get distracted by all the “said.”

“But you promised,” Jess said.

“I don’t make promises,” Dave said.

Tom walked over to Jess and Dave, placed his hands on their shoulders and said, “Stop fighting.”

That’s a beat!

If you want more tips like this, I created a checklist that delves deeper into this topic. In it, I provide more examples and offer detailed tips on how to create the perfect dialogue in your story. If you would like to get your copy click here for instant access.

If you haven’t done so already, I would love for you to hop on over to my YouTube channel and subscribe. I share weekly tips on writing, publishing and living with joy.

Also, if you’re passionate about setting and reaching goals, my book #Believe Dammit: 10 Principle for Attracting and Creating the Life You Crave is the perfect companion for you. In it, you will learn valuable lessons that will help you reach all your goals.

Until Next Time!

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