Book Writing AdviceBook, Writing, Advice
ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated
2017

Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Fictional Dialogue

In this episode, we talk about some of the basics of writing great dialogue in fiction – and specifically, some of the common mistakes you should avoid before you submit your manuscript to a publisher or agent for review.

Great dialogue does several things:

  • It makes a book hard to put down.
  • It draws readers into the story.
  • It suspends the reader's disbelief.
  • It gives the reader a sense of being there.

Here are the mistakes we cover in this episode:

Mistake 1: Adverbs

In general, the more adverbs surrounding the verb – whether that verb is "asked," "said," "thought," or something similar – the less writing experience the author probably has.

Mistake 2: Allowing Your Characters to Be "Talking Heads"

Make sure that your characters' dialogue is occurring in a setting that gives the reader some context as to what is happening around the characters as they are speaking.

Mistake 3: Writing out the Entire Conversation

You can start the conversation anywhere you feel is necessary and end it the same way, with the right set-up in the words surrounding your dialogue.

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