thursday tatics // dialogue

Dialogue has to be realistic.

Seriously, it does. It's people talking. No one wants to read about people who talk like they're stuck up. That's not fun.

There was one book, and I can not remember what book it was, but the people were from somewhere down south and they didn't use words like "y'all." How can you not use "y'all" and be from the south? Heck, even in The Assassin, which takes place in New York City, Cassie still uses "y'all." You know, you really can't take Texas out of a girl.

But, this goes for historical fiction too, make sure it sounds at least somewhat accurate. Someone from the 1500s isn't going to be running around saying "hey" to everyone. And yes, I have read a book where that happened. There was some major face palming going on with that.

In all honesty, the best way to nail that dialogue is to be a total creeper. Yep, go ahead, admit it, you know you've done something along the lines of creeperness before. Seriously, the best way to get dialogue down is to just listen to people. Listen to the way they talk, listen to their body language and listen to the people they talk to.

And remember, keep it simple. No one likes it when someone talks about them, so don't have your characters talk over your reading audience.

Now, get to writing some dialogue! 


Riv Re said...

That's why I don't write about characters living in Texas. Because I will never be caught dead saying "y'all." It's so...Southern. (I know, I'm very eloquent.) That's why any modern-day stories I write are relatively close to home.
Confession: I go to a private religious school, and have very little contact with public school kids. If I'm on the train and a group of teenagers come on, I very subtly pause my iPod and eavesdrop. :D

My main peeve with realistic dialogue: Characters not using contractions. No one says "I am so very hungry." Everyone says, "I'm totally starved." But I am emphasizing the contraction part. It seriously IRKS me!
*steps off soapbox*

Julie said...

I agree! Lots of people don't write like people talk and it bothers me. They'll say "I am going to go to the grocery store." People do not say that, people say "I'm gonna go to Kroger."

I think some people are also afraid of using brands, but they really help dialogue sound more realistic.

Although, I do write like that sometimes, so I'm not perfect, but I try haha :)

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