Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your dialogue questions!

Happy January everyone!

So as we slip into the new year, I'd really like to do some more posts on writing and being a writer. And the first thing I'd love to tackle is dialogue. So I thought I'd turn to you lovely people for help. Is there anything you'd like me to talk about in a dialogue series? Any questions or problems or tricky issues you'd like to see addressed?

I'll trade you comments for this video of a baby otter being taught to swim. How does that sound?


  1. How do you handle a lot of people talking at once? I have nine people in my family and we have conversations that I find impossibly difficult to put into writing. Any thoughts?

  2. I have trouble with this, too. When I was working on my NaNo project this November, I found that I was fine (relatively) with two people speaking, but once I added any more than that, it got really difficult.

  3. A couple other dialog issues I struggle with (I'm really abysmally bad at dialog):

    Conversation derail: When two (or more) of my character's start talking, I usually have a general idea of where the conversation should be going and often even an idea of a line I want one of them to say. And yet, somehow, they almost always end up somewhere completely different. Suggestions to keep this from happening (or to fix it after the fact)?

    Conversation bloat: They start talking and I can't find a graceful way to end the conversation, so it just goes on and on forever. Fixes?

  4. You guys are awesome. I'm totally taking notes. :)

  5. Hmm, I find that when I'm writing dialogue, it's so easy to fall into this pattern of wise cracking, dry humor repartee. Whether it's a king, or a peasant, or a maiden, there they are--understating, overstating, and otherwise making jokes. Many of my characters sound suspiciously like me. So, how to avoid sounding like myself?


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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.