Writing Tips Wednesday – Dialogue Building Blocks

Every Wednesday I’ll be sharing some hints and tips about how to improve your writing. These are basic things I have learned over the years, from writers websites, published authors and constructive feedback from friends, family and online pals.

There is an argument that fiction writing cannot be taught because it comes from talent alone, it is in your nature to be creative. Whilst there is some truth in that, even the most creative person needs to learn how to use their ability and make the best of their craft.

This week: How to enrich your fiction writing!

This weeks topic will be short and sweet. I’m not feeling too hot, maybe due to lack or quality of sleep, too much driving or maybe forgetting to wear my glasses when using the computer! I don’t like them. I feel like I must hide away from the world when I slip them on my face. Yuk. Whatever the reason I’m a bit ragged around the edges today. However, I thought I’d share a few choice links with you, dear blog reader, because like L’Oreal, you’re worth it!

Recently I wrote about dialogue – Top 5 Tips for Writing Dialogue – and how it can add so much to your fiction writing than just words your characters say to one another. I’m always learning how to enrich my own writing, and since I love dialogue I’m keen to read all the advice I can. As a writer you should never stop learning, even the most dull topic may provide you with a snippet of information you didn’t know or hadn’t realised you needed.

Therefore I’ve gathered some links to other blogs and websites that relate to the topic of dialogue. They’re worth reading and you may find some gems amongst them to help with your writing journey.

From Girls with Pens:

Internal Dialogue: The voices in your head.

Have you ever had a conversation with yourself? Ever had to convince yourself to do something, go somewhere, kiss a boy/girl, walk away from a fight, bite your tongue? We all have. Internal dialogue is those conversations your POV character has with themselves.

5 Basics About Dialogue You Need to Know

This is Part 1 in a three-part series I’ll be doing over the next few weeks on dialogue. Before I can get to ways to add variety to your dialogue (Part 2) and handling some of the most common challenges in writing dialogue (Part 3), we need to tackle the basics of beats, tags, and punctuation. Get them wrong and you can ruin an otherwise well-written scene (and mark yourself as an amateur.)

How To Make Deep POV Enrich Your Internal Dialogue

Using deep POV for internal dialogue is a valuable tool for writers, but in the various critiques we’ve given this is also one of the areas that POV violation happens most frequently. Here are the most common offenders.

The Power of ‘Said’

Writing fiction is my first writing love, and I try to spend at least a few hours every week honing my craft and working on my manuscripts in process. While I’ve not had a fiction manuscript published (yet), I think I’ve learned a few things worth passing on. One that took me by surprise was the misuse and abuse of dialogue tags.

From Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Deadly Sin of Writing #5–P.O.V. Prostitution

Okay, you guys asked for more Deadly Sins of Writing, so here we go. I’m putting on my editor’s hat. Many of you decided to become writers because you love to write. Duh. I’ll even bet most of you, back when you were in school, also made very good grades in English. Thus, you might assume that you naturally know how to write a novel that is fit for NY publication. Maybe you do. But, if you are anything like me when I started out? You might not know as much as you think you do. Click to read more.

Deadly Sin of Writing #7–Treating the Reader Like a Moron

I know I talked about this only a couple of months ago, and yes, you guessed it. This is my 7th Deadly Sin of Writing. As an editor, I found that I kept correcting the same blunders over and over and yeah…over. The mistakes were so universal among new writers that I finally put together my Seven Deadly Sins of Writing so that these issues could be corrected ahead of time.

From Writing Forward

How to Abuse and Neglect Punctuation Marks

What is it about punctuation marks that cause so many bad sentence constructions?

You know the sentences I’m talking about. They’ve got random commas, missing quotation marks, and way too many exclamation points.

To make matters worse, some writers break the rules and get away with it while others are chastised for doing (what appears to be) the same thing.

E.E. Cummings ignored most of the rules and made up a few of of his own, and now his poetry is studied in universities. Cormac McCarthy didn’t use quotation marks with the dialogue in his novel, and he won a Pulitzer Prize.

I’ll be back on form next Wednesday. Until then…

Write for you. Write with passion. Love it. Live it.

Do you have any dynamite dialogue writing tips or quirky methods you use in your fiction writing?

If you have any writing tips and advice and feel like sharing, pop me an email or rant in the box below!

8 thoughts on “Writing Tips Wednesday – Dialogue Building Blocks

  1. Once again, great article. I bookmarked this so I can easily reference the list of sites. Some I’ve visited but not all so have to check them out!

    1. Thanks Indigo. I’m feeling okay today, though my eyes aren’t good at the moment. I suspect it’s the recycled air in the office at work and the stark overhead strip lights that aren’t helping. Oh, and maybe falling asleep with a book stuck to my face doesn’t help either!

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