Journal #4 – Dialogue

Let’s be honest. These blog posts have kind of sucked. But, since no one is really reading them it should be fine. This is just supposed to be a journal; as every ‘Dear Journal’ writer ever knows, writing to someone is more helpful than attempting to keep in mind that you are writing to yourself. Awesome, right?

Regardless, today I am tackling dialogue. Mine kind of sucks. Not always, but often times I write a scene and more than one character is in it, and they end up talking because that is what people do. Apart from awkward silences.

Which just means that even when my characters have something to say, it often comes out stilted and weird.

1st resource: Now Novel’s 7 Dialogue Rules for Writing Fantastic Conversations.

Was it helpful? Not particularly. It seemed very basic. While bad dialogue punctuation can mean that a good story can lose their audience, I think I need more than just to keep in mind motivation and conflict for my characters when they speak. Maybe not.

2nd resource: well-storied.’s 19 Ways to Write Better Dialogue

Was it helpful? Maybe. This post repeated many of the same elements, though it did mention that real people don’t all sound the same and that syntax varies with personality. Which is something I know, but could always use a reminder on. The most difficult aspect of writing minor characters is writing their dialogue. They all need to sound different (unless making them sound the same is going to be helpful), but I, at least, don’t dive into their characters with the same type of in-depth analysis I use for main characters.

3rd resource: K.M. Weiland’s Get Rid of On-The-Nose Dialogue Once and for All

Was it helpful? I think it was the most helpful. Possibly because it gave an example of ‘On-the-Nose’ or flat dialogue and then a series of subtext-infusing ways to fix it. The examples were also very nice.

This is a great place to end. These three weren’t all I read to work on Dialogue but I think that they were the ones that best covered the topic.

Tomorrow: Characterization? Or maybe motivation. Anyone who follows through with any version of the NANOWRIMO knows that motivation is the crux of finishing out the month with anything close to their goals.