How to Write Realistic Dialogue




Beginning the Process of Dialogue Writing


The first draft does not have to be perfect. You will refine this version and produce a more finished manuscript. Do not be concerned too much at this stage about all of the plot points and crafting the definitive dialogue for the piece. That will all come later after the editing process. The key at this stage is to think about creating compelling speech for your characters, that effectively expresses who they are. For the dialogue to work it needs to sound authentic and realistic. Try to instil speech that sounds appropriate for the characters.



The objective is to engage with the audience and inject page turning dialogue.  For dialogue to come across as realistic to the readers it needs to sound naturalistic, with expositional narrative kept to a minimum. People rarely speak in grammatically correct sentences, it’s worth keeping the conversation a little unpolished. The careful introduction of mannerisms and idiosyncrasies in some cases will effectively communicate personality to the readers. Regional dialects and some research into accurate local pronunciations may contribute to the sense of authenticity.


Advice on Writing Dialogue that is Compelling


A good strategy is to remove any dialogue that is unnecessary from a story telling perspective. Conversation scenes that fail to advance the story can appear flat and interesting, the deletion of these sections will improve the pacing and readability of your work. For action or exciting scenes, shortened dialogue lines tend to complement the dramatic tension more than any elaborate narrative. People read shorter sentences faster and this builds an air of anticipation as the reader races to the next line.


In fiction, dialogue should be imbued with tension and intriguing revelations. If the speech allows the reader to become wrapped up with the next dramatic reveal it will be a very rewarding experience. This is especially true if the dialogue is concentrated on an important event or scenario the characters are entering into. Try ensuring that speech is relevant to the plot and communicates the emotion and drama of the scene to the audience.