Guest Post – Writing Dialogue

Today I’d like to welcome Catherine Johnson to my blog. Catherine is a writer whom I met through Write on Con a few months ago and we have since formed a picture book critique group together (along with some other writers we met through Write on Con). Catherine is currently beta reading my MG fantasy and giving me some great feedback.

Knowing I’m in the middle of pounding out 50000 words in a month for NaNoWriMo, Catherine kindly offered to do a guest post for my blog. So without further ado, here is Catherine with her post on writing dialogue.

Thank you to Jo for letting me guest post today. I chose to talk about dialogue and share some tips and trips. It’s something I am very interested in doing better and listening and reading good dialogue can only serve to help the cause. At the bottom of this post I have listed some of my favourite quotes from movies I watch with my kids all the time. I’m sure there are many more, if I had all day 🙂 There are 8 great tips on dialogue here: http://bit.ly/UZraC They are very specific and useful to try yourself.  Everyone likes to think their character’s say things that are true to life. Have a look at the tips on this site and check the against your writing:  http://bit.ly/9Q6DxY All those of us with young children are lucky that the first few tips are already taken care of. I like the last one, I might try that with my main characters. Another useful post on the subject is here:  http://bit.ly/a7hQMH discussing expository dialogue, a common pitfall of writing dialogue.
Absorb all the dialogue you hear around (without being too nosy! coughs) especially from tv shows and films. Reading is also an obvious example. Have you ever read a picture book, for example, and only concentrated on the dialogue? Are there books in the library that seem to have more dialogue than others? Analyse it and see if it appears natural and see how it fits in with all those tips and tricks above. And now I’ll leave you with some of my favourite lines from movies I watch way too much!

The Bee Movie
Vanessa Bloom “It’s very hard to concentrate with that panicky tone in your voice.”
Bee Vincent “It’s not a tone. I’m PANICKING!”

Space Chimps
HAM “When are you going to stop worrying about me dad? Space is in my veins.”
Dad “And between your ears.”
—————
“Chimp up cannonball. You’re not in the circus anymore.”
————–
HAM “You’re not going to do that the whole trip are you?”
Friend “What?”
HAM “Use Chimps to replace real phrases.”
————-
HAM “I do this every day of the week (sky dive) except Monday. That’s my me day.” (I particularly like this one!)
“…this rug isn’t going to cut itself.”

G-Force
“Hey I’m nine inches tall,I only see the up-side.”

Catherine

Thank-you so much, Catherine, for your post. You’ve provided some great links. If anyone would like to check out Catherine’s blog, you can find it here: Kangaroobee’s Blog

P.S. A little update on my NaNoWriMo progress: I started out with a slow week, I was finding it hard to get motivated for the story I planned, even though I knew what I wanted to write. Yesterday I decided to throw that story in and started something completely new. I wrote more yesterday on the new story than I had all week on the first one. I’m feeling a great deal more motivation now.

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2 thoughts on “Guest Post – Writing Dialogue”

  1. Thanks Renee, I also really like Hoodwinked and Antz. Some classic lines in those too. All the banter between the chimps in the rocket is some of the best dialogue I’ve ever heard. It’s witty, quick, and very natural.

    Like

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