Writing Believable Dialogue

Type the words ‘writing dialogue’ into the Google search box, and 986 000 hits come up. Which to choose, which to choose? I really liked this article from the BBC – would love to list more links if anyone has good leads.

Glenn Patterson, author of That Which Was, Burning Your Own and Fat Lad, explores how to create believable dialogue for your narrative.

He focuses on:

# Our job as the writer
# How to write dialogue
# Narrator vs Character
# Conveying character
# What’s the writer doing?
# Dialogue as an asset
# Parodies of dialogue
Our job as the writer

‘You want to know about dialogue?’ he said.

‘I want to know about dialogue.’

‘Then here goes, for what it’s worth.’

And he told her everything he knew about dialogue.

As writers our job is, in some respects, wonderfully straightforward. It is to create in the minds of our readers as complete a picture as possible – as complete an understanding – of our characters and the world that they inhabit. The question we must ask ourselves every step, or word of the way is how this is best achieved.

Any of you who have ever – and many of you who have never – darkened the door of a writing group will be familiar with the injunction’show, don’t tell’. The four lines at the beginning of this article illustrate the difference. Read more here


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