Using Dialogue to Create Dimensional Characters

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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So last time we talked about the basics in regards to dialogue and once we grasp the fundamentals—like proper punctuation—we then can focus more on elements of style. How we deliver the dialogue.

We can tell a lot about people by the way they speak. What people say or don’t say speaks volumes. As the writer, it is our job to understand our characters and to know who they are and how they think. We have to master the art of empathy. If we don’t, our dialogue will all sound like US talking. Writing, in many ways is a lot like method acting. We have to crawl inside the head and the psyche of our cast.

Not as easy as it might seem.

Dialogue done well is the stuff of legends though. Think of favorite movies. Why do we love them SO much? Very often…dialogue.

My name is Inigo Montoya…

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3 thoughts on “Using Dialogue to Create Dimensional Characters

  1. * grammatically. (Sorry, I tried to use the arrow and accidentally sent).
    You narrative can be. Your style should be, but your dialogue? Not always, especially in moments of fear, in discussing complicated theories, conspiracies, etc. People speak differently when they’re humble than they do when they feign humility. When we communicate, it isn’t always grammatically correct. When your characters speak, they shouldn’t be either. It’s the imperfections that give voice. It’s where the words come from that add depth and the way all those pieces fit together that gives voice. Thanks for sharing! Clearly, I agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Jennifer. I have a southern character (South Carolina) that speaks mostly correct since she’s well-educated, but she still says things like “y’all” and leaves out words such as “What you doing?” instead of “What are you doing?” and sometimes maybe says, “Whatcha doing?” which could also be “Whatchu doing?” which is used more when being playful. I’m from the southern part of North Carolina but speak much like being from South Carolina. One thing I used to say but stopped when I was made fun of was “I better go ahead and do that now or I’ll be forgot.” Instead of “I’m going to do that now before I forget.” We also say words like “yonder” but they don’t in Charlotte which is only about an hour away, so it be may be more of a South Carolina dialect. I was researching Texas speech and they say a lot of the same things as the south east.

      Liked by 1 person

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