Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Writing down the bones: Let's talk dialogue

I know I have spoken about dialogue before but I found another great handout that explains the functions of dialogue. It was written by Marian Jones. I don't have a date on this one either but like I mentioned before most of these handouts are from the eighties.

I loved some of the points Marion came up with. She has 20 and called it the functions of dialogue. (I will be putting this into my own words)

1. your characters can relate to each other through dialogue
2. reveal who your character's are through dialogue
3. show your character's personality through another character's POV
4. using dialogue properly can give your story a sense of urgency
5. it can build and sustain sexual tension between lovers
6. move your plot forward
7. helps foreshadow future events
8. give necessary info
9. allow characters to reflect on something that has just transpired
10. use the banter and teasing to develop their relationship or inject humor
11. it will help break up long narrative, lots of descriptions or reflecting on internal conflict
12. it can speed up and slow down the pace of your story
13. it shows the emotion instead of using a narrative to explain it
14. help explain the mood of the scene
15. it helps with the setting
16. it shows passion
17. it expresses counterpoint
18. helps build suspense
19. helps develop conflict
20. it gives the reader a feel of time or place, plus can help with transitioning into the next scene

This gives you a lot of ways to use dialogue to give your story that extra dimension.

She also recommends that you introduce your characters in a visual manner before that character talks. The first words your character speaks give your reader an idea of that character's personality. So do the tags you use.

This one I find interesting because I write SF/Futuristic so there are times when I will use odd dialogue or words to remind my reader that my characters are from another planet. She says to avoid foreign phrases. Instead she recommends you develop the characters ethnic background by using national cadences and the way their language would convert literally to English and use just a smattering of your characters natural dialogue. I always write my stories without a lot of strange words because I have found I'll put down books that have too much and I've had reviewers give me kudos for that.

The next thing she talks about is contractions. One of my chapter members was an english teacher and the one thing she told me that stuck with me is that we talk in contractions. none of us say I will not do that, but we say I won't do that. It really has helped me in making my dialogue realistic.

I hope you guys enjoyed this wonderful handout!



No comments:

Post a Comment