How To Write A Powerful Dialogue

Are you interested in writing an excellent dialogue?

Worry no more! All the help you need in writing a successful dialogue has been examined, compiled, and inputted into this article. This guide is fortified with the necessary techniques and dialogue tags used to compose the best dialogues history has ever recorded.

On reading this article, you are going to learn the necessities of dialogue, types of dialogue, the best techniques used in dialogue writing and the inspirational benefits involved in dialogue writing. After reading this guide, you will be able to boast of professional skill in writing dialogue.

Before we dive deep into the useful techniques, in order to assert our basic capability, it is of high pertinence that we consider the definition and history of dialogue writing. So how do you write dialogue that carries this purposeful sense of the word?

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Dialogue literary definition is a conversation between two or more persons whether in reality, debates, book, play or film. It can serve a number of purposes in fictional or non-fictional story telling including suspense creation, developing character, and plot enhancement. If the knowledge of dialogue is well maximized, it will make a write up more engaging to readers and increase their literary rapport with characters.

In novel Writing, dialogue demands more than understanding how to write a conversation.  Most successful dialogue write ups informs, intrigues, and narrates a particular story. Written dialogue, opposite to verbal conversation, is tasking because the reader has no auditory clues of the event. Therefore, the understated shades of verbal conversation must be shaded by the appropriate use of dialogue grammar and correct punctuation.

Now that we know the definition of Dialogue, we can move on to the techniques involved in dialogue writing.


There are basically two types of dialogues according to history and principles of great men.

Egalitarian dialogue: In this type of dialogue, contributions are considered based on the validity of reasoning instead of the positions occupied. Egalitarian dialogue emanates from the United States and it was built on the basis of equity.

Structured dialogue: It is a reserved form of dialogue, where actors are painted to follow a specific framework. It is employed as a means of solving complex problems.


As a result of its technical complexity, Newbie often struggle to correctly format dialogue. The rules of formatting dialogue are quite different than prose, but can also be mastered. However, the rules remain the same for any type of dialogue be it a short story, full novel or any kind of dialogue.

Below are the rules guiding dialogue formatting?

Enfold spoken words with double quotation marks if you’re writing for an American but the British use single quotation marks

For example; “I love you when you write.”

Insert Dialogue tags outside the quotes and get them separated by a comma

For example; John said, “I’ll do my best.”

“Don’t disappoint me,” said Bill.

Actions, which occur after or before the dialogue set off in a separate sentence  

For instance, If Angelina shouted and then spoke; you put it down this way:

Angelina screamed. “Oh my God!”

However, on the other hand, if Angelina shouted out the words, use a comma instead of a period (it’s all part of the same sentence).

Angelina screamed, “Oh my God!”

Whenever dialogue halts with exclamation mark or a question, tags that follow start in lower case

“What’s up?” he asked.

If you want to quote something inside the dialogue, use single quotation marks but when writing in Britain, reverse the use of double and single quotes

Warren laughed and pointed at him. “When that ghost hopped out and said, ‘Boo!’ you shouted like a little kid.”

Punctuation goes within the quotes but peradventure the dialogue ends with an ellipsis, never add a comma or any other punctuation

Andy covered his mouth. “Oh no!” He looked like he had seen a vampire. “Did you see that?”

He stared at the dark horizon. “I think you’ll go back to running after your company and I will…” his voice drifted off.

If an action interferes with a sentence inside the dialogue, use lower case on the foremost letter of the second part

For example; “I understand,” she lowered her voice to a whisper, “what you said.”

Any time you change speakers, begin a new paragraph. Peradventure the speaker carries out actions linked to the dialogue; put everything in the same paragraph

The reason for this rule is that readers, oftentimes, lose track of which character is speaking. A fresh paragraph helps readers by indicating a change.

(Align the first line of these paragraphs with all other paragraphs)

“Did he hit you?” Angelina asked, looking at the cut and bruises on Tina’s face.

“No. I did hurt myself.” Her brain jumbled to create a story. “I, umm, fell.”

“That fool!”

“No. You don’t get. It was all my fault.”

Angelina pointed her finger at Tina. “Battered ladies always behave that way.” She shook her head in pity. “Kindly come with me. I don’t think you should be here when he comes back.”

Peradventure the same speaker speaks long enough to necessitate a fresh paragraph, put opening quotation marks at the commencement of each paragraph but, final quotation marks are positioned only at the finish of the final paragraph

Sam gave the details. “The yarn is a notable silk-wool blend, a novel fabric called Allurotique. Some put it side by side to the most expensive silk, Pashmina Silk; but that comparison is off base.

“In Allurotique, the silk is muga silk, which has a natural iridescent gold color. It imbibes water better than other silks, thereby making it easier to wear.

“Allurotique is merged, not woven. And it’s made from the more expensive silk and exotic wool twirled into a fabric with remarkable qualities.

“The wool in Allurotique is gotten from vicuñas, a South American animal in the family of llamas. Vicuña wool is lighter, warmer and softer than any wool on earth. it’s not easy to find and expensive, since the animals can only be sheared once every three years.”


Make your written dialogue come to the point

Effective dialogue reflects eloquent spoken conversations. Since people get bored by those who ramble in verbal conversations, why should anyone like a rambling dialogue? Sometimes, writers make the mistake of changing subjects, rambling, or using filler words like ‘like’ and ‘um’. Make your dialogue writing cut to the chase. However, it is normal to begin phone calls with chitchat, for example; ‘Hi, Hello, Howdy, how are you?’

Mix descriptive narration with dialogue

Oftentimes when we put dialogue in writing, we fail to remember to keep the surrounds and backdrop on point. This is almost the same as the backdrop of a theatre being dragged away when the artists start to speak. In order to keep an active sense of place, slide in narration that complement setting fine points.

Utilize dialogue when revealing key character information

Dialogue involves character-building and characterizing different voices gives the story a true sense of reality.

Any dialogue that does not involve diverse perspectives and voices is bound to be boring, unreal and repulsive.

Avoid irrelevant dialogue tags

Irrelevant dialogue tags oftentimes distract readers and in cases where it is overdone, it might seem absurd to a rational reader.

It is necessary to show who in a conversation between two or more characters is speaking by using tags (such as ‘she said’ and ‘he grumbled’) but using these tags excessively is out of it.

For example; ‘Hello,’ He said.

‘Are you really the one? I can’t believe it’s been so long,’ she said.

‘Sorry I’ve been such a loner, He said, smiling.

NOTE: The repeated placement of ‘said’ here has a boring, and unnatural effect.

You can use alternative words for example, in that context, other options for the word “said” are ‘shrieked’, ‘whispered’, ‘spat’ and so on although you don’t have to burn the reader’s appetite with too many. It’s best to stay professional by making dialogue tags to be as invisible as possible. Heavy use of tags is not so good in dialogue writing.

Use explicit dialogues to depict general situations

Aside using dialogue as an aid in character development, or to advance plot, you can also use it as a literary device to illustrate a general situation.

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