Useful Tips

8 tips for learning how to write dialogs


Hello! The competent writing of direct speech (PR) and dialogs allows you to increase the visibility of information and better convey the general meaning of what is written. In addition, elementary adherence to the rules of the Russian language can be appreciated by the target audience.

The issue of proper formatting in the text (PR) will not cause difficulties if you understand in time a number of important points. First of all, it is worth understanding that there is a difference between the concepts of direct and indirect speech (CS). The first verbatim repeats the original statements introduced into the story or story of the author without changing the individual character and style (dialectal features, repetitions and pauses).

PR is introduced into the text without the use of conjunctions or pronouns, which greatly simplify the use of the COP.

ETC: Teacher suddenly remarked: "Time is up."

KS: Master noticed that the time was up.

In the text of the PR most often:

  • written in quotation marks
  • stands out in a separate paragraph starting with a dash.

Questions regarding how to write direct speech correctly in the text arise when its structure is complicated. For example - interruptions in the words of the author.

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With PR starts or ends the sentence

Direct speech at the beginning of a sentence must be enclosed in quotation marks, capturing question marks, exclamations, and ellipses. The point is moved outside the quotation marks. Dash highlights author’s words and stands in front of them.

“The train has left, now I’ll certainly be late!” The girl exclaimed with chagrin.

OL at the end of the sentence is allocated instead of a comma and a dash with a colon, while the author’s words are capitalized.

The girl said with chagrin: "I arrived too late - the train left, and you need to run on the bus!"

With examples, let’s finish. Schematically, the rules can be represented as follows:

The words of the author are inscribed in OL

Author's words written with a small letter are distinguished by commas and dashes. Therefore, quotation marks can be closed at the end of a direct speech that logically ends the sentence.

“The train has left,” the girl thought sadly, “now I’ll certainly be late!”

If the beginning of the PR is a logically complete sentence, the author’s words should be limited to a point, and the final part should begin with a dash.

Well, the train had time to leave, the student thought sadly. “Now I definitely won't have time to go to college!”

Conditional schemes are as follows:

Listen to yourself

It is difficult to write dialogs until you clearly understand what the spoken language looks like. Listen to how tonality and vocabulary change when you speak on different topics, how emotions change and mix radically.

  • How exactly do you start a conversation?
  • How do you structure sentences?
  • How do emotions affect how you structure sentences?
  • What emotions change your speech dramatically?
  • What words do you use most often?
  • Do you speak according to the rules or are you breaking the rules?
  • Do you use slang?
  • Does it change depending on the situation?

Listen to others

Characters must speak differently and this is the first rule of any novel or script (unless it is intentionally conceived, as in "1984").

Mark conversational patterns of other people, notice the original moments. Suitable not only your friends, but also characters from the movie. An excellent task would be to take two people who are talking the same way and find out the key difference between them. What are they guided by? It is possible that a completely different underlying component is behind the same external manifestation.

Read a good conversational script

More precisely, read a lot of conversational scripts. A novel may also work, but you will spend extra time describing landscapes and other things that you don’t need right now.

If you have time, try reading two scripts a day for two weeks. You will see that by the end of the second week you begin to distinguish between the characters psychologically and intuitively feel what they feel. Take all the scenarios of Quentin Tarantino and have a long run. At this time, it is advisable not to read anything else, you should be completely and completely absorbed in the dialogue.

There should be a conflict in any dialogue

In life, we can do without conflicts in conversation for days, in literature and cinema, they must be. Moreover, the dialogue should always pursue two goals:

  • Solve specific dialogue issues
  • Solve the problems of the whole plot

Even if you are describing a perfect family's family dinner, something must happen. Each character at the table should have his own personal goal, which in one way or another contradicts the goals of other characters. Just remember that the conflict should not be sucked out of the finger. Perhaps a chain of events will lead to it, after each of which the character will start more and more.

OL inscribed in the author's narrative

After the author’s words, a colon is placed before the direct speech:

The man thought sadly: “The train has left, now I’ll be late for sure,” and quickly ran to the bus stop.

If the PR is at the beginning of the sentence, a dash follows it:

“The train has left, now I'm sure to be late!” The man thought, and hurried to the bus stop.

Conditional layout schemes:

Dialogue must have a goal

Even if you want to embroil the characters, the dialogue itself and its surroundings must be harmoniously woven into the plot and world of the story.

Moreover, the dialogue should meet several criteria at once:

  • Leads the story forward. Conversations in real life are often just chatter without much meaning, but in history this cannot be. If the dialogue does not move the story forward, it should be deleted.
  • Characterizes characters. Each character in dialogue and conflict is obliged to reveal in his own way.
  • Provides information. The conversation of the characters helps to reveal the background of the world, talks about the childhood of the protagonist and so on. This is called exposure.

When you write, read it out loud

A dialogue written on paper may sound false if you say it out loud. You can object: what difference does it sound like in real life if I write a novel to be read? The fact is that you, as an author, are deprived of a keen sense of criticism when you write. And dialogue on paper can only seem harmonious.

If something sounds unnatural, correct it.

This is one of the most important rules for editing dialogs. It happens that you read the dialogue aloud and it seems that everything is more or less normal, but you are not left with a strange sense of falsehood. No need to muffle it, re-read it again and notice how much of you are embarrassed. You may have to delete individual words, or maybe whole parts of the dialogue. Do not convince yourself that normal is good.

Rules for writing dialogs

  • quotation marks are not put,
  • each of the replicas is wrapped on a new line and begins with a dash.

“And now for a long time,” Yuri answered joyfully. - The expedition is over.

Often in the same sentence, OL with a certain verb is used twice. This means that before the termination of the PR must be a colon.

“Father arrived,” Vova said slowly, and suddenly cried out loudly: “Dad, how long will you be?”

If replicas are short, they can be entered on one line using a dash as a separator:

- Son? - shouted mom. - It's you?

Possessing the above knowledge, I think it will not be difficult to correctly write direct speech in the texts in accordance with the rules of the Russian language. A schematic representation of the rules can be rewritten on a piece of paper and use the information if necessary, until it is firmly entrenched in memory.

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