Dialogue Examples

Dialogue Examples: With Tips and Guides

Dialogue is part of everyday life. We use it everywhere- in school, courts, churches, and stories. In writing, dialogue is used to spice up a story. It adds that human touch to a story. However, dialogue needs to be written a certain way for it to be valid. It also needs to come at the right place in the story. So here’s a guide to incorporating dialogue in your writing.

But first, take a look at some examples to get you in the right mindset to learn about dialogue.

Dialogue examples in literature.

The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald.

Nowadays, people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next, they’ll throw everything overboard and have a marriage between black and white.’

Flushed with his impassioned gibberish, he saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization.

‘We’re all white here,’ murmured Jordan.

“Angry as I was, as we all were, I was tempted to laugh whenever he opened his mouth. The transition from libertine to prig was so complete.”

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

ROMEO: (taking JULIET’s hand) If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle sin, is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready to stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

JULIET: Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,

Which mannerly devotion shows in this,

For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,

And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

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To kill a Mockingbird

After supper, Atticus sat down with the paper and called, “Scout, ready to read?”

The Lord sent me more than I could bear, and I went to the front porch. Atticus followed me. “Something wrong, Scout?” I told Atticus I didn’t feel very well and didn’t think I’d go to school anymore if it were all right with him.

Atticus sat down in the swing and crossed his legs. His fingers wandered to his watch pocket; he said that was the only way he could think. He waited in amiable silence, and I sought to reinforce my position: “You never went to school, and you do all right, so I’ll just stay home too. You can teach me as Granddaddy taught you ‘n’ Uncle Jack.”

“No, I can’t,” said Atticus. “I have to make a living. Besides, they’d put me in jail if I kept you at home dose of magnesia for you tonight and school tomorrow.”

“I’m feeling all right.”

“Thought so. Now, what’s the matter?” Bit by bit, I told him the day’s misfortunes. “-and she said you taught me all wrong, so we can’t ever read anymore, ever. Please don’t send me back, please, sir.”

Atticus stood up and walked to the end of the porch. When he completed his examination of the wisteria vine, he strolled back to me.

“First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-”

“Sir?”

“-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it,” Atticus said I had learned many things today, and Miss Caroline had learned several things herself. She had learned not to hand something to a Cunningham, for one thing, but if Walter and I had put ourselves in her shoes, we’d have seen it was an honest mistake on her part. We could not expect her to learn all Maycomb’s ways in one day, and we could not hold her responsible when she knew no better.

Why do people use dialogue?

It’s one of the most effective ways to convey information and emotions. But understand this: dialogue isn’t just there for writing convenience — you need to be aware of what it does and doesn’t do so that you can utilize it effectively and masterfully.

1) Dialogue focuses the attention on a particular character/s

The basic premise behind writing is to focus the reader’s attention on a specific character. Dialogue, especially in its monologue form (i.e., one character speaking), does this pretty well. You can also use dialogue for lists, action scenes, and more to direct the primary focus on one character at a time, which comes in handy if you have more than one protagonist.

2) It adds a layer of realism to your story

Believability is key if you want to create a successful fantasy or sci-fi novel, and dialogue is a great way to add this sense of authenticity to your book. You can use it for everyday conversation between characters, for people in specific roles, or even for an alien species. Make your dialogue sound real by avoiding the common pitfalls of dialogue, such as talking about something that doesn’t matter or talking without a purpose.

3) It moves the story forward

You don’t have to use dialogue for this, but it’s certainly one of its uses. If you want to convey information quickly, dialogue is an easy way to get this done.

4) It can help increase tension

Dialogue doesn’t have to be formal, wordy, or even serious — you can use it for conflict as well as Anything else (see the top of this article). Ask yourself, what’s at stake? What will happen if your characters don’t talk to each other? These are the questions you should ask yourself when writing dialogue that’s meant for conflict.

5) It can help develop characters

This is one of the most prevalent uses of dialogue because it helps you figure out who your character is, what they want, and how they feel about certain situations. There are two paths you can go down when it comes to developing character through dialogue:

The first is showing, which means revealing something about your protagonist (or other characters) through what they say and how they say it.

You can also use dialogue to demonstrate characterization or how a particular person will act in a given situation based on prior experience. This is great for conflict because readers can see what’s coming before it happens.

6) It provides the reader with valuable insight

Dialogue tends to be more revealing than any other writing style (except maybe thought bubbles), which makes it perfect for exposition, backstory, and any other info that you want to give your audience without taking up too much space.

7) It helps keep your story moving forward

Just like exposition, dialogue can help you move the novel along without having to explain certain things. If you’re struggling with describing a place or an object, try writing dialogue that takes place inside said location or regarding said object instead. This will save room in your manuscript for other things!

8) It makes a novel more memorable

How many novels have you read that stuck with you even after it was over? While there are several reasons why this happens, dialogue is one of them. There’s something about the way people speak that works its way into our brains and remains with us long after we’ve finished reading a book or watched a movie. If you want to create a memorable novel, dialogue is one of the tips and tricks you should use.

Finally, dialogue can give your book a conversational tone that makes it seem more accessible to readers — something that’s especially important if you’re writing for young adults or children.

General dialogue rules you should follow

When writing dialogue examples, some general rules must be followed. They include:

– How to start a conversation in a dialogue;

– Punctuation and Capitalization of Dialogue words;

– When and how to use quotation marks when writing dialogue examples;

– End punctuation for quotes in dialogue;

– Paragraphs in dialogue.

How to start a conversation in a dialogue?

A line of dialogue always begins with either an inverted comma or a dash:

She whispered: I’m here” – or – She whispered: I’m here.”  

When writing dialogue examples, there’s no rule on when to use an inverted comma or a dash. You can use either one. Just make sure you are consistent with the way you punctuate at the start of your dialogue lines.

Punctuation and Capitalization of Dialogue words.

The first word in a line of dialogue is capitalized, whether it’s the beginning of a sentence or not.

“I’m here,” she said. – Dialogue begins with a capital letter.

She whispered, “I’m here.” – Dialogue begins with the first letter in the line being capitalized because it’s not at the beginning of a sentence.

When writing dialogue examples, each line of dialogue is separated by a comma and end punctuation. If the dialogue is part of a longer sentence, it goes at the end of that sentence.

“I’m here,” she said, “And you are so not alone.”   

      She whispered: “I’m here. And you are so not alone.”  

When writing dialogues, remember to use inverted commas (or quotation marks) at the beginning and end of each line. The start mark (inverted comma or quotation mark) goes outside the end punctuation.

End Punctuation for quotes in dialogue.

“I’m here,” she said, “and you are so not alone.”  

When writing dialogue examples, put the word spoken into the sentence with an inverted comma or quote mark before it and after it.

She said, “I’ve been waiting all day for this.”  

Paragraphs in dialogue.

When writing dialogue examples, there should be a new paragraph every time a change of speaker is indicated. This means that if a person says something and then a new person responds, you’ll have a new paragraph.

“I’m here,” she said. “And you are so not alone.”    John replied: “You can’t be serious?”  

If the speakers talk over each other, you need to indicate who is speaking when rather than indicate they are speaking in one paragraph as it can be confusing and disrupt the flow of reading.

“I’m here,” she said.    John replied: “You can’t be serious?”  

She glared at him and clenched her fists.    “What do you want me to say!”    He cried: “Anything! Tell me Anything, so I know it’s true.”  

Dialogue tags

What is a dialogue tag?

Dialogue tags are words used to indicate who is speaking. They should be written in lower case and placed before the closing quotation mark.

“I’m here,” she said.     

“I’m here,” she said, “and you are so not alone.”  

He said, “I’m sorry I let you down.”   

She whispered: “It’s okay.”     He shook his head.    “No, it’s not…”  

When writing dialogue examples, there should be a comma after the tag.

The comma after the dialogue tag is optional, but most editors recommend including it.

He whispered: “I’m sorry I let you down.”       

He said, “I’m sorry I let you down.”       

When writing dialogue examples, if the tags are short and at the end of a sentence or phrase, the comma after the tag can be left out.

He whispered, “I’m sorry I let you down.”   

When writing dialogue examples, if the tag is in the middle of a sentence or phrase, use a comma after the tag.

“I know,” she whispered.    He shook his head.    “No, you don’t.”  

“I know,” she whispered. He shook his head. “No, you don’t.”    

When writing dialogue examples, if the tag interrupts the sentence structure and is at either end of a sentence or phrase, use commas on both sides of the tag. She cried: “Don’t go!”         He looked at her.    “I have to.”  

She cried, “Don’t go!”    He looked at her. “I have to.”  

Tips for writing dialogue

Develop character relationships

When writing dialogue examples, it is advisable to develop character first before developing a story. This will help you to be able to write a good dialogue because you’ll know the motivations of your characters and what they want from each other. It’s more interesting if they have something that brings them together or makes them clash rather than just having two characters that happen to be having the same conversation.

Dialogue examples should also keep in mind that one of the things that makes dialogue work is how it reveals relationships between characters. If you want to write good dialogue, it’s important not just what your characters say but why they are saying it and what effect their words have on each other. If writing dialogues, remember to have clear motivations for what your characters are saying.

Dialogue examples

– Use unique words

– Avoid using about five adverbs per page of dialogue

– Keep in mind your setting when writing dialogue

– Try to use more adverbs on the page when one character is talking, rather than using equal amounts of adverbs for both characters. This will clarify who’s speaking, even if you don’t indicate which character says what.

Cut out the filler words that make dialogue too lifelike

Dialogue examples should reveal what your characters want and keep it interesting by focusing on action and changing dynamics. Good dialogue writing will cut out unnecessary words, such as “he said,” “she replied,” etc. A good rule of thumb is to use these kinds of words only when they add something that can’t be shown in any other way.

– “I’m here,” she said, “and you are so not alone.”  

– “You can’t be serious?”   

– She glared at him and clenched her fists.    “What do you want me to say!”    He cried: “Anything! Tell me Anything, so I know it’s true.”  

– “I’ve been waiting all day for this,” she said.  

Dialogue examples should show what the speaker wants and why and clarify who is speaking even if you don’t indicate which character says what.

– “How did you know?”    She whispered: “A mother always knows.”  

– He smiled and said: “I missed you, too.”  

– “Are we going to talk about this?”    She asked: “What’s there to talk about? Everything is fine!”  

Context is everything.

When writing dialogue examples, it is important to keep the context in mind. If the story you’re writing takes place on a battlefield, your characters will speak differently than if they were shopping at a mall during Christmas time. The emotional state of your character and where they are greatly affecting their speech.

Dialogue examples should also consider how formal or informal the dialogue is. Characters will speak differently to their best friend than they would to the President of the United States.

– Hi!    How are you?  

The dialogue examples above assume that both speakers know each other well enough to use informal terms like “hi” and end their sentences with a question rather than a statement.

– Your Honor, I would like to request a short recess.

This example of dialogue shows that the speaker is more formal and wants to get respect and authority in this situation.

– “What do you think?”    She asked: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  

Dialogue examples should indicate the tone or mood the speakers are trying to convey with their speech. They should let the reader know whether a character is asking a question, making a statement, or shouting.

– “I just can’t do this anymore.”    He said: “You’re going to be fine!”  

Dialogue examples showing off how characters communicate with each other through dialogue should show the kind of dynamic the characters have with each other. If two characters are close, they will speak in a way that shows this relationship.

– “I’m sorry!”    She shouted: “I literally did everything for you, and you can’t even say you love me back?! It’s over!”  

Dialogue examples should show how much emotion characters are putting into their words. If they are shouting, for example, this would be more emotional than just talking normally.

– “I do love you.”    He said: “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.”  

Dialogue examples should reveal what your characters want and keep it interesting by focusing on action and changing dynamics. Good dialogue writing will cut out unnecessary words, such as “he said,” “she replied,” etc. A good rule of thumb is to use these kinds of words only when they add something that can’t be shown in any other way. Many writers also like to use beats (pauses) and action (body language) during their dialogue examples.

– “You’re not going to get away with this,” he said.   

He looked around, trying to remember where he had seen that man before.  

Give each character a unique way of speaking and be consistent.

Dialogue examples should show many different aspects of dialogue, including how much emotion characters put into their words and the kind of dynamic they have with each other.

– “You’re not going to get away with this,” he said in an icy tone that sent chills down her spine.   

He looked around, trying to remember where he had seen that man before.  

This dialogue example is consistent with the speaker’s way of speaking in the previous dialogue examples. The second line shows an icy tone and keeps this throughout, which gives us a feeling for his character without saying outright that he is cold-hearted.

Avoid small talk.

Dialogue examples should avoid small talk and get to the point. Some writers like to use details and action in their dialogue instead.

– “I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately.”    He said: “Can we go out sometime?”  

This is unnatural and boring compared to other dialogue examples. It doesn’t show Anything special about the characters in a way that moves the story forward.

– “There’s something I have to tell you,” he said.   

She could see his hands shaking, and her stomach dropped.  

This is more interesting because it shows how nervous he is about what he has to say. It also builds tension between the characters and will interest readers.

Keep it brief and meaningful.

Dialogue examples should be brief and to the point. It’s better to use action or beats instead of including too much dialogue, which will seem unnatural.

– “I don’t think I can do this anymore,” she said.    She felt tears welling up in her eyes as she looked at him.  

This is too wordy and awkward. It’s better to leave out words like “she said” and “he replied.”

– “I don’t think I can do this anymore,” she began to cry as she looked at him.  

This is more effective because it shows that her dialogue is filled with emotion and unnecessary words.

Pay close attention to punctuation.

Dialogue examples should include punctuation. Dialogue tags should be included within the quotation marks.

– “I’m sorry!” she shouted, tears rolling down her cheeks.  

“It’s fine,” he replied flatly, turning his attention back to the computer screen.  

She frowned as she watched him type furiously at his keyboard, wondering what she had said to make him so mad.  

This dialogue example shows the importance of punctuation. The first line doesn’t have any punctuation, which makes it sound confusing and strange. The second line ends with a comma, but the third line has no punctuation at all. Including these kinds of details are important for creating effective dialogue examples.

– “I’m sorry!” she shouted, tears rolling down her cheeks.  

“It’s fine,” he replied flatly, turning his attention back to the computer screen.  

She frowned as she watched him type furiously at his keyboard, wondering what she had said to make him so mad.  

This dialogue example shows the importance of including the right punctuation. The first line doesn’t have any punctuation, which makes it sound confusing and strange. The second line ends with a comma, but the third line has no punctuation at all. Including these kinds of details are important for creating effective dialogue examples.

– “I’m sorry!” she shouted, tears rolling down her cheeks.  

“It’s fine,” he replied flatly, turning his attention back to the computer screen.  

She frowned as she watched him type furiously at his keyboard, wondering what she had said to make him so mad.  

This is more correct because it includes punctuation within the quotation marks. Dialogue examples are easier to read when the dialogue is punctuated correctly.

When is dialogue appropriate?

When writing dialogue examples, dialogue can occur in several different formats throughout a novel or story. Here are some common uses for dialogue:

– To develop character relationships;

– To move the plot along (either by revealing something about the characters or moving the plot itself);

– To convey information to the reader;

– To create tension (dramatic, romantic, or suspense;)

– To express the character’s emotions.

It’s best to avoid using dialogue in certain parts of a story, like during description. If the reader can’t see what is happening in their mind, it will be difficult to understand what is going on in the story. Too much dialogue can also leave less room for description and action, making it harder for a writer to build suspense and intrigue.

Conclusion

Dialogue can either make or break your piece. So use it sparingly. We hope this article has given you insight into dialogue writing. What remains is a lot of practice, and you’ll be good to go.

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