Writing Techniques & Tips

Writing techniques are one of the most important aspects for whatever you write. Used correctly, they can make the story more interesting , whether that by by using descriptive words, or adding in punctuation to add just the right effect. In this , I will demonstrate how to use those two aspects, and other various things, to make your story more appealing and interesting for the reader!


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9. Techniques-Dialogue

Dialogue is a necessity for any story. Characters would be lifeless dolls if they didn't talk, and how can anything happen without communication? In this chapter I will be showing you how to not only write dialogue with the correct punctuation, but also what to do to enhance the dialogues meaning.

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Dialogue Punctuation 

Before I start this, I want to let you guys know that in my many months of writing, I only learnt this a couple of months ago. If there is no exclamation mark (!), ellipse (...), or question  mark (?), and the sentence has not ended, then a comma needs to go before the second speech mark.

EG

Incorrect

"I  am going to the shops" she said.

Correct 

"I am going to the shops," she said.

If you read those two sentences aloud, you will notice how it makes much more sense. 

 

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Examples of the sentence with exclamations, ellipse and question mark

"I am going to the shops!" She said.

"I am going the shops..." She said.

"I am going to the shops?" She said.

Alright, so maybe that last one didn't work. But hopefully you can see why a comma isn't needed in these instances.

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Dialogue and Description 

When two characters are having a conversation, it can be a little tedious to see this:

[Thing  1] "Do you want some cheese?"

[Thing 2] "Yes, I would like some cheese."

[Thing 1]  "I like cheese."

[Thing 2] "Me too."

You see, it is also hard to keep track on who is who. When an argument is occurring in the story, just having the dialogue go back and forth is effective, but generally it does not work. Therefore, I am going to show you how to write conversations with dialogue and description.

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OK, so imagine the two characters are actors, in a film of your story. If the scene was being acted out with them, it'd be very inanimate and boring , and nobody would want to sit at the cinema watching them for an hour or so. 
What would they be doing? Would they have their fists clenched in an argument? Would they be holding their wrist nervously if they were meeting somebody new and were shy? Would their face be twisted into a frown? Would their mouth be upturned into a smile? 
Body language and facial emotions help bring the characters to life, and demonstrate how they are feeling. Showing, not telling, which is an important part of descriptive writing. 

So lets put some emotion and body language into the conversation. I am going to imagine this is a conversation between two friends about cheese (for those who do not know me very well, I have a bit of an obsession with the stuff). I am also going to imagine that these are two actors playing this out in the film, not lifeless dolls. So, I am going to think what they would be doing. It's easier to do this if you brainstorm what they are feeling, and know the context of the conversation. I have mentioned it countless times, but brainstorming is such a good method of spacing out thoughts and such. I am going to spare you the brainstorming draft for this, though. If you need any further explanation on brainstorming, feel free to ask me in the comments.

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Here is the conversation with description:

Mary held out the bowl, a tentative smile spread across her lips. "Do you want some cheese?"

Suzan returned the smile, only more enthusiastically. "Yes, I would like some cheese." She took a slice of Brie out of the bowl.

She nibbled on a chunk of cheddar. "I like cheese."

She nodded in agreement. "Me too."

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Again, you can see this a little tedious. Therefore, I suggest putting in an ABBA structure with the description. A will be description After dialogue, and B will be description Before dialogue (see what I did there?). 

 

Here is the conversation with ABBA structure description:

 "Do you want some cheese?" Mary held out the bowl, a tentative smile spread across her lips.

Suzan returned the smile, only more enthusiastically. "Yes, I would like some cheese." She took a slice of Brie out of the bowl.

She nibbled on a chunk of cheddar. "I like cheese."

"Me too."She nodded in agreement. 

I can't think of a better way to explain the point of doing this, apart from saying it spices things up a bit. Which I hope you can see that it does.

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Alright, so thank you for reading this chapter! I am sorry I haven't updated for a couple of months- I have been busy with mock and real GCSE exams and I went to France a week ago (as you might have gathered haha). Hopefully this has been of use to you.  Also,thank you to WriterMan for giving me the idea for this chapter :D. 

 

 

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