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Q&A

Posts tagged dialogue

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Q&A block-quotation narrative with dialogue

Over on the Judaism site, I summarized a narrative text in a block quotation. Because the narrative is well-known, I expected many people to skip the block quotation; therefore, I did not want it t...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by msh210‭  ·  last activity 12mo ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How can I make a character sound condescending?

In one chapter, the PoV character meets up with her sister. Her sister is supposed to be fairly stuck-up and thinks she's a complete lowlife, so she talks down to her the whole time. I have the Po...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Canina‭

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Q&A In a dialogue, how can I hint that the characters aren't telling the whole truth?

In one scene, I have a conversation between three characters: A, B and C. A's son and B are involved in something illegal. C isn't aware, and since A and B aren't entirely sure she can be trusted, ...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Tau‭

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Q&A Are speaker tags always necessary when multiple people are in the conversation?

I understand that if you’ve got two people speaking, you often don’t need speaker tags because it’s assumed that both people take it in turns unless otherwise specified. This keeps the conversation...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Mousentrude‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

Question dialogue
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Q&A Can we use other things than single-word verbs in our dialog tags?

"Albert, you're already drunk! Stop it!" she implored him. "Nah, if I stop drinking, I won't have an excuse to miss work tommorrow!" he joked around. I am wondering if it's possible to ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by yocu‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A Alternatives to develop relationships without dialogue

I have to come up with an idea (this is an assignment) for a story between 1 or 2 characters without dialogue and with a length of 90 seconds, so I know it's totally possible, however, when it come...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Santi Tinjacá Rivera‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How can I make a character sound uneducated?

Some of my characters have little to no education, and I'm looking for ways to show that through their dialogue. (They're uneducated, but not necessarily stupid.) Here's what I've tried so far: ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭

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Q&A How to convey that the POV character *does not understand* what's said in dialogue?

The general advice is often to focus on the content of what's said in dialogue and just write it in the reader's language, largely whether the characters would use that language or not in-universe....

4 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Canina‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A Writing slurred speech

One of my characters gets drunk and accidentally kills another. He has a couple of lines where he needs to sound obnoxiously, falling-down drunk. Is there a good way to accomplish this? What sound...

6 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by aparente001‭

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Q&A Ending a line of dialogue with "?!": Allowed or obnoxious?

A dialogue of mine contains the following sentence: "You fired all three of them?!" Trouble is, I'm not sure I've ever seen a novel that used a question mark and an exclamation point together...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A How do we distinguish someone talking to another person via telepathy rather than via vocal means?

In my sci-fi novel, some people have the ability to talk via telepathy so how do we distinguish telepathy from other types of communication? I would like to do it, because it's not the same, and I ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by repomonster‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A How can I write an annoying character without annoying the reader?

My story has a group of five refugees traveling across the kingdom. One of them is preachy and pretty much useless (unused to physical labor, trying to convert the heathens in the group). She's dri...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Elongated vowel sounds

When we speak sometimes we draw out certain sounds for emphasis. We also see this technique in song, for both emphasis as well as expanding the meter to make the words fit a certain rhythm. One w...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by AGirlHasNoName‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A I have a dialogue that I can't write directly. What would be a good alternative?

My attempt at the current writing challenge features a flock of sparrows. Since the actual "dialogue" between two sparrows would sound like a bunch of cheeping, I need another way to show what the...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question technique dialogue
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Q&A How to incorporate a silent protagonist into a chatty world?

You see this a lot in video games: a silent protagonist who can somehow communicate with the rest of the world with seemingly no or few words. Usually, it's hand-waved away by simply assuming from ...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by noClue‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question characters dialogue
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Q&A What are the rules for punctuating a conversation?

Are there hard and fast rules for characters speaking to each other? As far as quotations, or without them? Are they hinged inside a paragraph or ruled to only be in a talking string?

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by M.E. Rollins‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Switching languages within dialogue [closed]

I'm writing a story which requires frequent switching between languages, sometimes in the same sentence. I thought about writing the foreign language in italics, but the problem is that I already ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by romebot‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Confused about when to treat something as a dialogue tag

Background: I'm helping a friend edit their fiction. I'm frequently left confused on anything related to dialogue tags. “Yes, but I mean no,” Steve stumbles over his words. “Not the come hom...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by mh9‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A The difference between dialogue marks

Most authors use dialogue in writing, especially when writing fiction. Now, if I remember my first grade primary school correctly, dialogue can be directly separated from narration in a number of w...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Liquid‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Which is the correct way to punctuate this dialogue with ellipses?

Below are four alternate dialogues that I am confused between. I'd like to know which is the correctly punctuated one. Also please explain how to use ellipses in a dialogue which is interrupted by ...

1 answer  ·  posted 5y ago by vedant‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Indent dialogue to make text look less blocky

I am writing a story but I am trying to indent the dialog because right now it looks like a chunk of text. My text is Then a figure under the box moved behind Professor to which John yelled “P...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Dan‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How do I include translations without ruining the flow of the text?

A character speaks two languages throughout the whole plot. How to insert the translation of the other language without ruining the layout of the story or text? For example: "Guten tag, Herr X...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by J. Roberts‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How do you write dialog for a character with malapropism without it seeming forced?

I have a character who has a tendency towards malapropism but I find that in every sentence she speaks I am re-reading it and finding words to replace. ie. (actual - translation) "Inquisition, ...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Memor-X‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question dialogue
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Q&A Punctuation issue quoting dialogue

I was editing a friend's story and I ran into a problem. A character wrote a letter to her friend but inside the letter there was a dialogue (quoting her parents) inserted. I tried to change their...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by ABDELTA‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Expressing large numbers in dialogue?

For example the scene takes place in the future and the year is 24,356. Would it be written as: "The year is 24356," said Bob OR "The year is twenty-four thousand, three hundred and fifty...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Osiris93‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question dialogue numerals
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Q&A How do you write 2 or more characters saying almost the same thing in unison

When 2 or more characters speak in unison you can generally do something like this "awwwww, she's so cute!" the girls said in unison in near perfect harmony but what about when the line is on...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Memor-X‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Dialogue interruptions — using em dashes

This is my first time in writers, so I apologise if I make a mistake. I've searched for this, but I can't find a concrete and complete answer. Please forgive me if I've somehow missed it and it had...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Emmie‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A When dialog is italicized, should the quotation marks be italicized as well?

For example, in the following exchange, "Shut up!" she yelled. "I can't think when you ramble." (For context, it's for a novel or online story publication.) I want to emphasize the two words ...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by whiterook6‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A What is generally the accepted format style for telepathic communication in the midst of verbal communication?

At this point in my story, it's already been revealed that 2 characters share a telepathic link with one another that allows them to communicate to each other with their minds. "Now before we g...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Memor-X‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Writing scenes that involve two languages

(I realize there have been similar questions before, such as this and this, but the answers to those unfortunately did not help much with my specific issue.) I have three characters. Sally speaks ...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Summer‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Writing dialogue, present or past tense "said"

This may seem like an off-topic question, but it's really more about writing than about the grammar. I use a lot of dialogue in my writing, sometimes too much, but while I'm writing it, though the...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by RE Lavender‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question tenses dialogue
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Q&A Do you capitalize the names of governments in a story?

I know that names of countries, states, cities, and counties are always capitalized, but what about governments and organizations? In my novella there are basically 2 sections of space, and each ha...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Abram Frost‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Pitfalls for writing a talkative character?

I wouldn't say he's bland by any means, but this character is definitely talkative, and he's supposed to be. He's not the main character but does show up quite a bit. He tends to lecture and ramble...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Summer‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question characters dialogue
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Q&A Formatting dialogue and single lines

Consider the following exchange: "Hello" "Hi" They were sitting on the bench. The dialogue lines are indented. Should the descriptive sentence also be indented? What if we had "Hel...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by socrates‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Capitalisation after punctuation in dialogue

I've seemed to have a problem with getting this right and doubting myself. In regards to writing dialogue, do you follow up with capitalisation after punctuation marks? Can someone tell me which is...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Colm Mulhern‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A When a character tells a long story, is it always an info dump?

I have two characters who don't get along and are sniping at each other from the moment they meet in the book. Throughout the story, they keep ramping it up. At a certain point, one character is st...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Keobooks‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Formatting a Story Teller's Dialog

I'm writing a short story in which a story teller (the possibly-historic Aesop) addresses an audience. He tells his short story (within my short story), after which I will describe dialog between h...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Eric J.‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How realistic should dialogue and character voices be?

I've heard a lot of conflicting suggestions in the past regarding dialogue, so I'm hoping I can get a solid answer here. Some people have told me that the best way to go about dialogue is to make ...

4 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Summer‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A The difference between two speech formats

I am conflicted about which one is appropriate for a story, or whether it makes a difference at all. A few years ago, god knows where, I've seen speech that was formatted like so: —Hello. - Tom...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by D. Tunus‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Gerund Overkill

I like to use gerunds in my writing and I wonder if I'm overdoing it. I wrote this paragraph: I couldn’t help thinking to myself, who is this woman on the phone? And if it’s not Burns’ mother t...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by trin carl‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Punctuation before / after em dash and speech mark

I originally posted this question on the main English forum, but someone suggested it might be better posted here. Apologies if I have broken any forum rules. As I home in on the end of my first n...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by John789‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Using colons and semi-colons in dialogue

I've often heard writers say they don't like using colons and semi-colons in dialogue specifically. I don't often see colons and semi-colons in dialogue, but sometimes it just seems like it's by fa...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by MoniqueH‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How does one indicate uncertainty in a quote?

When quoting the spoken word, and if one particular word is difficult to distinguish, how does one properly indicate the uncertainty if that particular word has been quoted correctly? The followin...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Filip Allberg‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How Much Dialogue Is Too Much Dialogue

I wanted to know How Much Dialogue Is Too Much Dialogue ? I'm writing chapter and i can't really seem to trim my dialogues since my all 4 of my characters are to talk to each other and interact wit...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by The Writer of The Basket‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Fragmented sentence

I have a book I am writing, and every time I go into a grammar fixing program, I get a lot of "Fragmented Sentences." Can some one explain to me how to fix these with out losing any part of the sen...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Tearya‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Stutter that changes words mid sentence

I wanted to have someone correct themselves mid-sentence, and I remembered some guides I read on the subject. They only seemed to allow only the most basic of stutters, but I want one where someon...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by user1316538‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question dialogue
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Q&A How to balance for readers who are not technologically literate

My story features two software developers who discuss computer-based things in the first chapter. It's not a significant part of the story, but it helps to establish who the characters are and what...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Mike.C.Ford‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question vocabulary dialogue
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Q&A In a dialogue, how do you write that a character says a letter?

Since I don't know how to make the title less ambiguous, I will explain myself with examples. Example 1: imagine that in a dialogue between two mathematicians, one reads aloud the following senten...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by user13057‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question dialogue
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Q&A Which one is the correct dialogue punctuation format?

I am writing my first novel and this the very first confusion I would like to clarify. As I am not a native English speaker, I find it very hard to understand the punctuation scheme in direct speec...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Lara‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How do I demonstrate ideological differences between characters who are politically not too different?

I'm currently writing a novel, in which two characters who are old friends are having an argument. I'm writing the argument to establish who the characters are and what their values are (the argum...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Mike.C.Ford‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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