How to Create an Engaging Dialogue

One of the key elements of a story is dialogue. By way of definition, a dialogue is the textual representation of spoken words and conversations within most creative works, including novels, short stories, and scripts. It is the speech of fiction, the talk between two or more characters.

Dialogue is an essential element of a story because it is what advances the story; it is what directs and changes the course of a story. It also helps a writer to communicate specific information to his reader. Dialogues reveal the nature of the characters in the story, and it is through dialogues that the message of the story is communicated to the reader.

One of the keys to writing great stories is building an exciting dialogue. A dialogue must create an emotional effect and response from the reader.

There are a few things to consider while writing your story dialogue.

  1. Give your characters different voices, word choices, rhythms, and styles: Just like real humans speak differently, the difference of tone, word choice and style between characters should be noticed by the readers. This requires research and observation. As a writer, you must understand who a character is before you ascribe a voice style and tone to him or her. For example, if a character were to be an Ibo, then he should speak differently from the Hausa character. Traditional Ibos tend to talk in proverbs; you may give your Ibo character this distinction.
  1. Keep your dialogues brief: Although there are situations where long dialogue is allowed, this should not be dominant. Long dialogues are more suitable in plays than in novels. In a novel, dialogues should not go over for pages and pages. Don’t allow characters to speak at length without interruption by another character.
  1. Be consistent with your characters’ voice and style: I said earlier that each character should have unique voices. You must be consistent with it; an Ibo character should not just start talking like an English man all of a sudden.
  1. Show; don’t tell: This cannot be overemphasised in a story. Writers are quick to tell a character’s emotions, feelings or intentions instead of showing them. You should show what your characters feel instead of telling it. You can make use of body language because it is very crucial in a story-like dialogue. To do this, you have to understand human behaviour. Just like humans do, your characters should not always know what they feel. For you to be able to apply this to your story, you may need to observe a lot. Observe people while they are having a discussion and apply the same to the characters in your story.
  1. Avoid repetition of names in dialogue and keeping other characters in a scene busy while others are talking: This will add reality to the scene. Your characters should not be unnecessarily passive.
  1. Minimise identifying tags like ‘he said’, ‘he asked’, etc.: Tags are sometimes not necessary and worse, they drag the flow of the story and make it boring.
  1. Read your dialogues out: Some will say you should write your dialogues the way you speak. This has proven to be quite effective so you might consider applying it.

And lastly, read wide and listen to people talk. Reading and listening help you create dialogues that are not only real but interesting and engaging.

How To Turn Your Idea Into A Book

Have you ever had some bright idea burn in your head it fills you with so much excitement and relish as you think about it? But that is just as far as it goes because, to you, it is just an idea. Downplaying the power of such an idea or concept, you hardly do anything about it.

It doesn’t always have to be this way as that idea could be your opportunity to inspire the world.

Like you may already know, writing is a lot of work. But guess what? Getting the world to read your thoughts through a book sounds like a miracle, and it’s a feeling you’ll love.

Here are some validated tips for turning your idea into an epic book the world wants to read.

Have a writing goal and set a deadline

It isn’t enough to decide that you want to write a book. First of all, you must have a clear cut goal on what you hope to achieve with your idea or story. Consider writing as a project, and every project has a timeline. Don’t they? If you’re serious about getting this task done, you must set a deadline for it. This will serve as your compass. It will help you understand where you are going and the results you will likely get.

Plan your book

You must have heard it several times that failing to plan is planning to fail. Just as with everything else in life, writing a good book, not just any book, requires planning. It’s a fact that you can’t shy away from. You need to map out strategies for completing the project within the stipulated timeline. Chances are if you do not analyze your book critically, you may end up drifting from your original goal or at worst, get bored in the process — the common reason for procrastination among writers.

Get started

There is no better way to put it than this: the only way to start is to start. Pick up a pen, grab a sheet and start writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ll see the mistakes along the way and learn as you make progress. Keep writing until you’re done and don’t ever stop until then.

Maintain focus

Writer’s block is a major challenge for creative folks like you. So don’t be discouraged about it. But you must do your best to shut out distractions when working on a book. For starters, you must understand your peculiarities. You must know the conditions that make writing easy for you and the environment that helps you to function best. Anything that comes short of that will definitely affect your long-term focus on your writing project.

Share your work and celebrate your small wins

Writing is not an easy thing to do. So, you must find time to celebrate yourself for every milestone reached. Let your friends see your work and comment on what you’ve done. The more positive feedback you get, the more encouraged you become. And writing will become a whole lot of fun for you.

Find support

Sometimes, writing is not a journey you can work alone. You may need the contributions of other people, who may be more experienced than you, especially if you want to publish your work.

At Sabi Writers, we help you realize your dreams by traversing your entire writing journey with you, never leaving your side throughout the whole process. We understand the intricacies and technicalities of getting a writing project done. We are best-in-class at what we do and leverage our state-of-the-art facility and staff competence to create a unique writing experience for people like you.

Do beyond dreaming it. Live it!