D … is for dialogue



is for dialogue. We’ll take a brief look, at five aspects of today’s topic.


1. Direct speech.

This is the most commonly used means of conveying information, and producing conversation between characters.

“It really depends on house style, and your market place,” Tom said.

“Yes,” Jane agreed. “I suppose you’re right.”


2. Indirect speech.

We use this technique to avoid a long drawn out piece of dialogue.

“It really does depend on house style, and your market place,” Tom said, before going on for five minutes to explain a variety of points on the subject.

Jane listened and nodded, realising just how deep a subject it was.


3. Dialogue tags.

Examples: said, screamed, called, shouted, cried, exclaimed.

We don’t have to use a fancy word, when ‘said’ is the easiest to use, is the least obtrusive, and does the job. Don’t use a big word, because you might send your reader looking for a dictionary. Use something more descriptive if the scene benefits from it.

Keep dialogue short, sharp, and believable. It will keep the story moving forward, and it sounds natural. Try breaking up your dialogue with a tag in mid-sentence; which is something I do often.

“I’ve used it extensively in my novels,” Tom said. “It sounds natural, and allows the reader to take a breath.”


4. Thoughts.

When a character has a thought, it does not have quotation marks. They are thinking about it; not saying it.


5. Dialect.

This is one of my pet hates. I’m a Glaswegian. For anyone not of British descent, it means I’m originally from Glasgow, in Scotland. Allow me to demonstrate typical dialect from my hometown. It’s how I used to speak before I left home.

Billy said: “Ah telt ‘im ee’ wisnae gonnae geh’ ennae. Ee’ telt me tae piss aff ‘n mine ma’ ain bizniz.”

“Yurr takin’ thu pish,” Jimmy replied. “Ah’d a’ smakt ‘um in thu’ mooth.”

What is dialect? It’s not everyday language; it is the broad, colloquial tongue of a region or district. It is tedious to write, and awful to read. Why is it a pet hate of mine? It should only be done if the entire story is done in that style, or, if it’s the way a single character speaks at all times.

I’ve seen it in so many stories where the writer has changed back and forward from regular English language to regional dialect and back again, with one character. The character should speak one way or the other.

Thank you for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with ‘E’.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enjoy The Visit

Author Theresa Jacobs

Blog Stories Books

Writing to be Read

Author's Blog - Book Reviews, Author Profiles and Reflections on Writing

Tom Benson - Artist

Before there was photography ...

Rebecca Bryn

Author and artist

Sarah Stuart - Romantic Suspense

Award-winning writing that pushes the boundaries

Frank Parker's author site

A Septuagenarian's ramblings

Lucinda E. Clarke - Author

Adventures in Africa and other places

Andrew Updegrove: Tales of Adversego

One author's exploration of the evolving self-publishing labyrinth

authordesignstudio's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

Ra Winter Writer

Native American Romance Writer, Urban lit, Romance, Fantasy

Indie Lifer

News and rants on publishing, health, and spiritual stuff.


Reviews & More


My interviews with many authors

The Quill Pen Writes

Latest work releases, preview cover designs and reviews of other authors

Lesley Hayes

The Lesley Hayes Blog

The Last Krystallos

Its those silly dreams that keep us alive...

lucinda E Clarke

My blog - My books - and other interesting stuff about my adventures

Eric Lahti

Livin' the Henchlife

Nikki McDonagh - author and photographer

A look at writing, publishing and photography

Vagina Antics

A sometimes sweet, always naughty sex blog


fiction and other writing

shehanne moore

Smexy Historical Romance

Maxpower's Blog

Books and writing

Indie author support & Discussion

We welcome readers and writers and aim to provide a wide selection of reading and resource material

Princess of Dragons

A world of imagination, writing and dragons

Damyanti Biswas

For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity

Writing - Beginning and Beyond

Where I've been, where I'm at, and where I want to go with writing...

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: