Dialogue (also spelled as dialog) is the act of conversation between two or more characters in a story. It can be light, simple talk, or the guy with two broken arms telling his young and inexperienced friend to to disarm the ticking time bomb.
The Grammar of Dialogue Edit
- The spoken words must be encased in "quotation marks".
- If "said (name)" goes after the spoken words, a comma should be placed between the last letter and the ending quotation mark. If nothing goes after it or if it is followed by an action, use a period.
- After the "said (name)", put a period if they are done talking. If they have more to say, but that is its own sentence, put a period. Put a comma if they have more to say that is part of the same sentence.
- If a character is doing something, before he or she speaks, here is how to go about it. If it is "action, then said (dialogue)", put a comma after said. If it is "Action (Dialogue), use a period after the action.
- Each time the speaker changes, a new paragraph should be started.
Now, here is an example using all of the above tips.
"We shouldn't do that," said Joe, rising to his feet.
"Why not?" asked Amy. "It's perfectly safe." She poked him on the forehead.
"I know," said Joe, "but what if Barry and his friends are there?"
"We come back here." She walked to the closet and grabbed her coat, and then added, "There's a good chance that they will be there though."
Joe walked to join her. "All right, I guess."
"Said" is the main word used in dialogue.
Other Dialogue Tips Edit
- If it is obvious who is speaking, including the "said (name)" is not needed.
- If the only hint as to who spoke is a "he said" or a "she said", readers will assume that the words were spoken by the last male or female (respectively) to make an action.
Different Words For "Said" Edit
- Added -
- Agreed -
- Announced - When the
- Asked - For when the speaker is asking a question.
- Barked -
- Chuckled -
- Commanded -
- Declared -
- Demanded -
- Exclaimed -
- Groaned -
- Hissed -
- Laughed -
- Roared -
- Sighed - "It's so sad," sighed Maria Susan.
- Shouted - "For the last time, don't do that," she shouted.
- Yawned - "We should sleep now," he yawned.
Said Is Underestimated Edit
While different words can be used, said is the one that an author will most want to use, simply because people see it so much that it is overlooked. Constant use of other words (especially less common ones such as moaned, simpered, or suggested) will distract from the story itself. Most of the time, "said" or "asked" will suffice.
Other Tips For Using Words Right Edit
- Two-word "saids" like "said quietly" or "asked desperately" should be avoided, when a single word will suffice, in this case, "whispered" or "begged".
- If the proper word is implied by what is said, it isn't necessary to use it.
- Such as Christopher Paolini's infamous " "Sorry," apologized Brom. ".