6 Ways to Better Dialogue

Written by Jeff Heisler


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6 Ways to Better Dialogue

By Jeff Heisler

Question: What's wrong with this segment?

"Hey John!" Sam shouted. "Yeah, what?" John replied, puzzled. "Look at this," Sam implored to John. John replied, "Look at what?"

Answer: A lot. It needs some work in dialogue


So what arerepparttar 129475 rules for dialogue in fiction?

Let's go through a few points in no particular order.

1) Simple dialogue tags work best. The most

effective tag in fiction is "he said" or "she said." No

"he uttered," "he stated," "he implored," or anything


2) You don't need a dialogue tag on every line.

Here's some examples for illustration:


"Hello sweetheart," he said. "Hello honey," she said. "How was your day?" he said. "Fine, how was yours?" she said.


Now- let's look at it again without so many



"Hello Sweetheart," he said. "Hello honey." "How was your day?" "Fine, how was yours?"


Ahh- that's better. Inrepparttar 129476 second example we

getrepparttar 129477 dialogue without being distracted byrepparttar 129478 tags.

3) You can also use to few tags. IF you have

long strings of dialogue, make sure you throw a tag in

now and then sorepparttar 129479 reader doesn't lose their pace. A

good way to do this is to throw some action in there

withrepparttar 129480 dialogue. For example, if you've had a long

exchange betweenrepparttar 129481 husband and wife inrepparttar 129482 eample

above you could throw in a line like this.


She sat down atrepparttar 129483 kitchen table. "I went to

the bank today," she said.


That exchange breaksrepparttar 129484 monotony ofrepparttar 129485 simple

dialogue exchanges and places a touch of action, however

small, intorepparttar 129486 scene. It also serves to keeprepparttar 129487

reader tuned torepparttar 129488 right speaker. It's easy to get

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