U Wot M8

AKA: How to Create Realistic Dialogue

Listen to the nearest conversation to you. If you’re on your own, play a YouTube video of an actual conversation and listen to that instead.

Now, pick up the nearest book and flick to a bit that includes dialogue. Different? Yes; well, it should be anyway.

Because, you don’t type as you talk; otherwise writing would be like thajgsakdhysakfsdhadkakugfjksaldashifkuljsdaknfbjadifja.

So how do you make it realistic? – when you can’t.

Well, here are some tips:

  • Put in fillers, such as ‘um’ or ‘er’.
  • Some people say the same thing a lot – for example, my cousin says, ‘in fact’ every few sentences, especially when making a point. Just remember which person says what, and don’t make it too obvious/too common.
  • Although most people slur words together, try and spell them correctly. Of course, you can do contractions (eg ‘cannot’ to ‘can’t’ (is ‘contractions’ even the right word?)), but don’t overuse them – for example, ‘shouldn’t have’ instead of ‘shouldn’t’ve’ (although, if you have a character that always speaks that, then go for it!).
  • Make sure character’s differentiate they way they speak. Not everyone speaks in the same way.
  • Read it aloud. See if it sounds right. It doesn’t? Change it!
  • Don’t get too fancy when writing dialogue. People don’t actually speak like that, unless you’re writing from the 1800s.

Oh, and one final tip: remember to use speech marks. People don’t say ‘he said’ after they say something.

Sorry this was posted so late!

Questions, thoughts? Shoot!

– Hannah 😀

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