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Top 10 Unusual Ways to Learn How to Write Compelling Dialog

If you’re a writer, you need to take into account so many things including setting, characters and the story itself.

But dialogs are even more important, as they actually build up the canvas of the story, and the art of writing a compelling dialog is very intricate.

Whether
you are an experienced author or just a rookie in writing, you must
have already heard about basic ways to write a compelling dialog.

But
if you need something more inspiring to get the ideas flowing, we’ve
picked for you the top 10 unusual ways to learn how to write it.

  1. Happy
    thoughts from a happy place

Disturbed
mind cannot produce something genuine and creative. You need to find
your happy place to enjoy the solitude and get alone with your
thoughts. Happy place doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to go
somewhere. Happy place should be in your mind. This feeling brings
you peacefulness and ability to get your thoughts together.

If
you’re still looking
for your happy place
,
you can surround yourself with things and people you really love.
You’ll feel your mind go steady instead of rushing all the time.
This will give you inspiration to start writing.

  1. Gather
    information from everywhere

This
is a legit way to get an abundance of ideas to write compelling
dialogs. Many professionals use this trick to make their writing
more grounded and real-life. How do you do that?

Are
you on the bus right now? Casually listen to what people talk about,
which emotions they express, which gestures they use. Or maybe you’re
standing in the queue and people around you argue who came there
first? Look around you. There are lots of ideas and tricks for you to
draw inspiration from.

You
can even take a little sketch book with yourself to write down most
inspiring moments and then look them through at home.

  1. There’s
    a difference between realistic and real

Ok,
let’s say you’ve gathered all necessary information from
everywhere, now you need to find out how you will place your dialog
into the setting. If you want your dialogs to be compelling, you
shouldn’t separate them from the setting they occur in.

Remember:
whether your setting is more down-to-earth or even takes place in the
imaginary world of Narnia, your dialog should correspond to the real
speech. You shouldn’t copy how we really tall, your characters
still live in the imaginary world.

But
in order for the reader to understand them better, the dialog between
your characters should sound realistic, said Peter O. from Proessaywriting.


  1. Never
    start your story with the dialog

Exposition
is a part of your story that should attract the readers. But in order
to write
an effective exposition
,
try not to start it with the dialog. No matter how hard you try to
make it convincing, it will never sound so in the beginning of the
story.

Dialog
is supposed to introduce and describe the characters. And for
centuries writers didn’t push their characters on the reader and
tried easing into the story using narrations, descriptions and so on.
Compelling dialog and exposition have bad chemistry: usually this way
of introducing your characters doesn’t work at all.

Not
to mention that it could actually ruin the whole story.

  1. Learn
    from the masters

As
a writer, you probably want to have you own unique writing style. But
there’s a golden rule though: always learn from the masters. But
among so many books and authors, which ones actually contain great
compelling dialogs?

In
the search for authors
who’ve created the most compelling dialogs in their stories
,
you might be interested in reading John Steinbeck, Sinclair Lewis or
Toni Morrison. But try to read more analytically. This will help you
not just copy their style, but find methods for creating compelling
dialogs.

  1. Silence
    is as good as words

The
importance of pauses has been proved by Aristotle long time ago, when
he described the role
of pauses in a public speech
.
The same is with the written speech, where authors usually use a
description of these pauses.

Pauses
and silence largely contribute to the story and sometimes tell the
reader about characters even more than just some words they share. So
in order to create compelling dialogs, don’t forget about pauses.

  1. Incorporate
    gestures and body language

It’s
natural that our bodies and faces move while we talk. So why not to
use it in the dialog? Besides, it’s a great way to diversify the
dialog tags (instead of “He said” you can use “He mumbled,
covering his mouth with his hand”).

Moreover,
it’s very important to incorporate gestures and body language to
better introduce the characters to the reader. Let’s say your
character has shaky hands. Then reader could assume that the
character is nervous. Or maybe your character is touching his face
while he’s speaking. Then the reader will assume that the
character’s lying.

So
as you can see, the gestures often tell the stories.

  1. Don’t
    make dialogs too long

In
real life, people usually don’t talk for too long. There are a few
occasions, like lectures or seminars, when people talk for a
considerable amount of time. But reality isn’t usually like that.

So
don’t turn the dialogs into a huge narration. To make them
compelling, try to write smaller dialogs, which will be easier to
read. Don’t overwhelm the reader with huge amounts of information.
Not everyone enjoys the stream of consciousness.

  1. Apply
    appropriate speech patterns to your characters

Let’s
say your character is a woman of 30. Then her speech should
correspond to her age and sex (use more emotional words and phrases,
as women express their emotions in a more obvious way), as well as
her social status. This is a nice touch to make the dialog really
convincing.

  1. Turn
    the dialog into a theatrical performance

Act
your dialogs out with a member of your family or with a friend.
Listening to what you wrote will definitely hint at some mistakes or
tautology you might have used. Besides, you’ll get the honest
opinion from the person you know, so you could work on improving your
dialogs to make them even more compelling. 

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