Writing good dialogue is essential for engaging a reader in your story. Dialogue needs to be accurate in expression, capturing the characters' sense of self and place in the moment. To do this, there are a few techniques you can use. Firstly, consider body language; how does your character move or gesture as they speak? Secondly, consider setting; what rules the conversation and how does it reflect the characters’ personalities? Lastly, remember that dialogue is action-driven; it should capture each moment’s action and tension. When writing dialogue keep these elements of good dialogue in mind and you will be sure to create an engaging narrative that captures a sense of real-life conversation between your characters. This is a page from I Eat Monsters Chapter 3.
Dialogue beats, or pauses in a conversation, allow for thoughtful consideration of the next response. Dialogue tags are used to identify the speaker. Screenwriter Cynthia Whitcomb's "beat rule" advises writers to use detailed action beats instead of dialogue tags to help readers relax into a slower scene and understand body language better. It also helps readers get closer to the characters by allowing them to experience their conversations more naturally. By following these rules, writers can create engaging dialogue that keeps readers engaged with their writing.
Many new writers struggle with dialogue as it can be unwieldy things to work with. For me I came to comic books from writing prose and was overwriting dialogue and blowing up massive word balloons. To write compelling dialogue, the writer must ensure that there is a balance between providing much information and exposition while keeping the reader engaged in the conversation between characters. Too much exposition can turn off readers and its boring, so it’s important to use dialogue as a tool for character development and storytelling.
Writing great dialogue can be a challenge, but with practice and some helpful tips, you can create captivating conversations for your characters. Avoid over-explaining what’s going on in the conversation; instead let your characters do the talking. You should also break up dialogue between word balloons as a way of organizing it better and providing readers with a break from lengthy pieces of text. Finally, don’t forget to include exposition in between sections of dialogue so that readers can understand what is happening before or after each conversation. Writing engaging dialogue is a great way to keep readers interested in your story and bring your characters to life!
To make your dialogue stand out and be interesting, it is important to establish distinctive dialects for each character; this can be done by noting the characters' actions, manner of speaking, and even their choice of words. When writing dialogue, try to focus on what needs to be said rather than using needless words. Highly intelligent characters will often require more sophisticated language whereas less intelligent characters may omit certain types of words or phrases.
When writing dialogue, it is important to remember that small talk fills the silence and helps move a conversation along, but even small talk needs to be engaging. A lot of writers can lean on stylized dialogue such as we see in the work of Wes Anderson or the Coen Brothers. To give readers an accurate representation of a real-world conversation, body language must be considered. When an awkward silence occurs, action can be used to show the characters’ reactions. To make characters sound more like real people and less like robots observe real world interactions that will help bring depth to the dialogue. Writing engaging dialogue for any medium can be difficult but with practice it will become easier and feel more natural.