3 More Common Mistakes with Dialogue

Good Morning! I hope you had a good week. Last Monday I wrote about my curtains – I would have sent you a photo this week but I still haven’t finished them! Sometimes a project can take longer than you think . . . I’m sure you know the feeling. 🙂

Still, that gives me a chance to go back to the subject we were discussing a fortnight ago . . . dialogue. We discussed three common mistakes writers make with dialogue and how you can remedy them (if you need a recap you can read them again here). I trust that was helpful? I hope it was, because this week I have three more issues with dialogue for you!

young people

Here they are:

3 more common mistakes writers make with dialogue:

Issue: Chat between characters is banal.
Remedy: Cut all the boring stuff! If you need to have two characters meeting for the first time, just say they were introduced, then get on with the real meat of the story. Too much hello, how are you, nice day is deathly dull, and kids hate it!

Issue: Use of monologues.
Remedy: Avoid long speeches by one person. Keep your exchanges snappy and short, especially when writing for younger children.

Issue: Preaching.
Remedy: We are writing for a reason, but we can not expect our readers to read dialogue that is really us wanting them to get our ‘message’. This is an issue I have seen many times in unsolicited manuscripts. If you find yourself slipping into doing this, stop and consider how you could reach your readers by including your message within the body of your story. If you do need to have your character discussing a spiritual issue with a church leader (or any other person), keep such dialogues short, relevant, and as far from preaching as you can make them.

How about YOU?

So, out of the six issues with dialogue we have discussed, which is the one you need to work on the most? Let us know in the comments below . . . once you’ve put your intentions in writing it will help you remember!

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

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

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Janet

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