9 Tricks to Make Your Dialogue More Organic
Nine techniques you can implement when writing dialogue to make character speech feel natural.
Writers, take note! Some really useful tips here - I concur with all of them!
Excellent dialogue advice.
This is really, really useful advice. Also , try recording dialogue* (it’s spoken word after all) then applying these techniques to hear what changes.
(*A trick learned when writing screenplay. Of course then the actors spoil it… Or not.) :-D
In addition to interrupting oneself (mentioned in the article), there’s also interrupting other people, and it can say a lot about how the people in the conversation interact. You can use it to show that the listener is engaged in the story:
"So then he dumps the soup bowl -"
"He did not!"
"-all over his boss’ lap -"
"Holy shit, he’s so fired now!"
Or you can use it to show a lack of respect:
"So then he dumps the soup bowl all over his boss’ lap -"
"Oh, yeah? Well, this one time I told my boss to fuck off right to his face. He was a real asshole. Like, this one time -"
Person #2 might not even realize how disrespectful they’re being. But anytime you hijack a conversation like that, you’re saying that your story or opinion is more important than that of the person you’ve interrupted. I got to watch my dad do that to my mom (and myself) constantly last weekend. And he wonders why they’re divorced and why I never call…?
But yeah, how and why a person interrupts another can say volumes about the relationship between the two. Ever interrupt a friend when they’re wrong to correct their facts? Would you do the same to your boss? Or would you wait for them to finish speaking first?
I love writing dialogue. It’s when I get to break the rules about sentence structure and word choice and not feel bad about it. :)