“Rewriting the 7 Rules of Dialogue” by Steven James | 28th June 2016 | Writer’s Digest: The Writer’s Dig.
“Most of us have heard the typical advice about writing dialogue—make sure your characters don’t all sound the same, include only what’s essential, opt for the word said over other dialogue tags, and so on.
While these blanket suggestions can get you headed in the right direction, they don’t take into account the subtleties of subtext, characterization, digressions, placement of speaker attributions, and the potentially detrimental effect of “proper” punctuation.
So, let’s delve into the well-intentioned advice you’ll most commonly hear, and what you need to know instead.”
- Dialogue should stay on topic.
- Use dialogue as you would actual speech.
- Opt for the speaker attribution said over all others.
- Avoid long speeches.
- Be grammatically correct.
- Show what the characters are doing while they’re talking.
- Keep characters’ speech consistent.
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