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Story Building (Part IX): dialogue

Photo by Reeney Jenkins on Unsplash

Ya’ll, dialogue is one of my favorite things to write. It gives opportunity to reveal character motives, fears, and personality through showing (in speech), rather than telling.
Take care you don’t use dialogue as an opportunity for info dumps from one character to another, especially if it’s information they both know, i.e. “Mr. Frodo, we’ve been on this journey to Mordor for seventeen days now. I sure do miss the Shire where we used to live, and I was your gardener.” Yeah. Anyway.
Like mentioned before, dialogue is a great way to reveal character desire and motivations. But real people often don’t say what they want, especially if that thing is deep or personal. I made the mistake of writing lengthy, passionate paragraphs of dialogue from my MC in my first novel, in which he stated exactly what he wanted in the clearest, most preachy, unrealistic way he could. He spelled everything out for the reader to understand. He bared his heart in the first cha…

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