3 Helpful Tips on Writing Dialogue

Good morning Christian writers, and welcome to this week’s writing tip! As you know, sometimes these writing tips are for encouragement to keep going (I know from experience how hard it is to stay focused); sometimes they are tips for better writing. This is one of the latter, because some of us find it hard to get our characters to say exactly what we want them to say in the way we want them to say it.

So, here are three quick tips to help you if you struggle . . . and you never know, it might even help those of you who already love writing dialogue!

1. “If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.” So said John Steinbeck, and I can’t say it any better than that. All I can say is that I heartily recommend this advice.

2. Give all your characters different voices. Isaac’s teacher might greet him thus: “Good morning, Isaac. How are you?” Isaac’s best friend might greet him with: “Yo, dude, what’s up?” This means you have to know your characters well, because you have to know not only what they say, but how they say it.

friends talking

3. Keep dialogue brief. Avoid:

  • Long speeches by one person
  • Pages of dialogue where nothing happens.

You need to keep the action flowing, folks!

So which of these three tips did you find most helpful? Are there any you particularly struggle with? Do you have any advice to offer fellow writers? Share your wisdom so we can all benefit – let’s inspire each other to be the very best we can be! 🙂

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason

Happy writing,

Janet

P.S. We go into writing dialogue in a lot more detail in the Write for a Reason course. The next course will begin in April: you can read more here.

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