Dialogue, how do you do it?
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Dialogue, how do you do it?

  1. #1
    Not A Piece of Cake Bubble Frog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Kalos
    Posts
    4,553
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    186

    Follow Bubble Frog on Tumblr

    Default Dialogue, how do you do it?

    Dialogue is definitely one of my biggest challenges, mainly because I'm pretty inexperienced in writing it on the fly. I don't mean having my character say things, I mean in the sense of deciding how they would say it and making it sound realistic and like something they would say. For example, an older man wouldn't say something like "rot in hell", because it might sound immature if the man is say, a teacher who is wise and knowledgeable. He wouldn't say "You're going down!" either since that sounds a bit too much like something an adolescence would say. When it comes to dialogue I'm pretty inexperienced in the matter.

    Children would use less complex words than older people, but at the same time I wonder about how I should write the older people in a sense. It's complicated. How do you figure out and write your dialogue for a character? I'm trying to improve this and make it a bit more pitch perfect, since anyone worth their salt knows that it takes enriching dialogue to have good character interactions and moments. With me it's I write it, edit it, don't like it, edit it more, don't like it, scrap it, rewrite it, edit it, blah blah blah. Ad Infinitum. A new tactic I was thinking of trying out was basing character dialogue off real life talking, for example a wise man in his early 30's dialogue would be somewhat similar to my head coach's talking and speech. A teenager's would be similar to how one of my teammates talk, I could soon stop basing it off their speak and go from there. In essence when I write dialogue I try to give a good portrayal of the character's personality as well.


    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,797
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    99

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    Well, if there's someone you know who is similar to the character you're writing for, ask yourself how they would talk. It's what I do. Usually.

  3. #3
    Hear the Roar of Thunder Yun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Archelyte Steppe
    Posts
    1,718
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    This is something I've always found to be rather... subjective.

    In the case of dialogue, I would say the absolute best way to judge is to take into account three aspects: time/setting, situation/timing, and mindset.

    Time/Setting
    In the case of time, you would need to ascertain what time period/setting the story takes place. For instance, if I were to create a story of a medieval world on Earth, I would not use the words "dude", "gnarly", or "radical" for the characters. Those are present day terms used nearly two hundred years proceeding the medieval period. Using words such as "tarry", "cometh", and "grandeur" are fitting, as the medieval world puts heavy stress on proper English. Victorian-era terms are, while not always used, acceptable as well; since many of the words of that era are simply more modern versions of those spoken in the medieval English lexicon.

    If you were to use words like "dude" or "radical", give a believable explanation as to why. Perhaps have a character travel through time from the present day, which explains why those words are used. An interesting concept would be one of the characters also drawing upon the essence of someone from the future, which could probably make them utter the slang terms which would otherwise be impossible to have been known at that point in time. This is, however, only an example.

    You simply need to be sure as to why the world would have such dialogue. Very rarely will you find those of the present speaking in medieval or Victorian-era
    language. However, writing characters that do this also helps to enhance the story.


    Situation/Timing
    This is something that many authors falter in. The situation at hand plays a big role in the dialogue and speech of characters. You would need to accurately think; what would someone in this situation say to another person? How would they respond to things? Now, know that mindset and situation go hand-in-hand, but Time/Setting is almost always absolute.

    An example would be if you were in a Pokemon Battle with Ghetsis. How would you react if someone told you "I want to go out with you?" while you were battling his Hydreigon; whose supposed difficulty in defeating would most likely transcend into the story? A normal reaction would be confusion, annoyance, or distraction. However, mindset also plays into this. You would need to analyze all points of your character's background and personality, while also keeping in with things such as the situation.

    Timing is also key. Using the aforementioned scenario, would a character really state at that time "I want to go out with you?" It would seem not only out of place, but meatless in development. Correct things your character could say depends on the situation at hand. If your character is annoyed with a character they don't like, and said character just failed; usually, a character wouldn't say "I think I should go eat something." No, usually, they would comment on it. What they say is entirely dependent on the situation. If the character had wronged them horribly (such as stealing money from them or beating them up), and your character isn't forgiving, you shouldn't make the character try to comfort them. Ignoring them, berating them derisively, or mocking them would be something that is not only expected, but very logical.


    Mindset
    This portion is large enough for its own section, I believe. While it began to overlap with Situation and Timing, I believe that I would need to go into detail. What I am speaking of is simple.

    Mindset is what your character's overall personality is + their current emotional standing + situation = reaction. In many cases it can be like a formula: p + e + s = r. Below, I have six examples of possible dialogue reactions.
    Personality (p) Current Emotion (e) Situation (s) Reaction (r)
    Kind and Caring Happy Friend is currently winning a battle. Would normally be cheering them on and praising their skill.
    Brooding, Angry, and Silent Angered Battling someone who has wronged them. Would normally say nothing, mock them if necessary, and respond to any attempts to make him angrier with venomous remarks.
    Laid-Back and Lazy Content Is being asked to do chores. Would normally state why he can't, attempt to shirk it off, or only do a half-assed job.
    Serious and Determined Deadset Is on a mission to find a target. Would normally be the most meticulous in the process of finding the person if in a group. Usually, he responds negatively to those who are a hindrance to his goal.
    Smug and Loud Overconfident Is winning a battle against someone whom he looks down upon. Would normally be caught spouting lines of praise toward himself. Because he looks down upon his opponent, he would be rather condescending and judgmental of their moves. How judgmental is your decision to make.

    However, there can also be different types of reactions. Some which may go against a character's default and normal persona. This could be a normally nice character who is rather angry with someone. In many cases, the nice character is often not taken seriously. However, this could be subverted, with a character being extremely scary and horrific when angry if they were nice. This could be developed and expanded upon from any event; such as a bad past they've attempted to get over, a fierce sense of dedication or responsibility to someone or something that the person or thing they are angry at has impeded upon, tampered with, or broken, the person being disproportionate in their emotional standing, or (in the most extreme case) the nice persona being a mask for a far more antagonistic side that is the real personality.

    Another example is one that is popular as well; what I would like to call the Wooly Wolf personality. Someone who is brooding, angry, serious, and overall pretty intense who shows a warmer personality to certain things. This could also be the term Tsundere, Kuudere, or something of that nature; but that is usually only generalized for anime (while my definition attempts to extend to all forms of media and literature). A sub-example is that the Wooly Wolf would be very unfriendly towards many people, but if he's around his younger sister; he would be worlds nicer to her. Maybe he won't drop the stoicness, but he'd talk to her more casually, treat her with the utmost respect, etc. God help you if you ever harm her.
    ------------------
    In essence, I think that's how I separate my dialogue. It's a lot for simply one thing, I know, but it helps me in my stories.

  4. #4
    Avian lover Blaze-Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Earth ll
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    50

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    Dialogue would be my toughest challenge

  5. #5
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Pokemon Stadium
    Posts
    5,704
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    I research what kind of language would be in use (if needed), and listen to people around the age of my character if I can.
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

  6. #6
    No, Not Yet Joshawott's Avatar Forum Head
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    11,380
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    15
    Follow Joshawott On Twitter
    Add Joshawott on Linkedin Follow Joshawott on Tumblr Visit Joshawott's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    My biggest challenge is trying to make different characters' dialogue sound different. What I sometimes do to give it a little push is have say, one character uses no abbreviations, while another one uses them a lot (So compare "I do not understand what you mean" with "I dunno what ya talkin' 'bout!" and bam! You have a clear difference).

  7. #7
    Overthinking Everything xelda57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Gender
    Genderless
    Location
    In your mind.
    Posts
    3,654
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3
    Add xelda57 on Google+
    Follow xelda57 on Tumblr Visit xelda57's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    You know the character's personality. Pretend you are your character and put yourself in the situation they're in. What would you do?
    Links to stuff.
    I also might start a webcomic soon, but that'll be linked to when it happens.

  8. #8
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    3,532
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    66

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    I have trouble with it.

    Dialogue is a huge part of making your characters really come to life, and it can be difficult to capture that through speech. I usually know what I want the character to say to move the story along, but it's another challenge entirely to make your characters do this while still making them unique and awesome.

    I try to completely plan out my character and his/her personality, motivation and history before I even start to write. I try to familiarize myself with the kind of character I want him/her to be and how they talk.

    Once I begin writing, I just try to stay true to that.

    Remember, in your story's verse, the characters theorhettically existed before the plot unfolds. So concentrate on how the characters would react to the events of the story rather than fitting your characters' personalities into the plot.

    Decades have passed, and Kanto is a much different place. Follow Lucas Green as he and his friends search for answers and look to fulfill their destinies.

  9. #9
    ^^ Safe-T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Location Location Location
    Posts
    287
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    For me, I think that good dialogue is that which suites the character, setting and situation. In general though, it's just that which sounds right, you know? I guess realistic.

    Watch this videos, it has some nice tips. Three anti-social skills to improve your writing

    COMING SOON!

  10. #10
    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,797
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    99

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    That was actually really helpful. It's definitely a new perspective for me, even if it is something I've always done naturally. It was definitely eye-opening, though.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. #11
    ^^ Safe-T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Location Location Location
    Posts
    287
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lugion View Post
    That was actually really helpful. It's definitely a new perspective for me, even if it is something I've always done naturally. It was definitely eye-opening, though.

    Thanks for sharing!
    You are most welcome. :)

    COMING SOON!

  12. #12
    Registered User Consulting-Detective's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Not London.
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Follow Consulting-Detective on Tumblr

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    The grammatical structure of dialogue is also really important. In terms of syntax and whathaveyou, trying to speak as the character rather for the character helps in finding a particular voice, and through that the personality can be formed through their manner of speaking.

    I highly recommend reading up on this: The How To's of Dialogue: Grammar and Otherwise

    I've been referring back to that whenever I start writing. I know it's long and everything, but it's definitely worth checking out when you've the time.

  13. #13
    Conformity is Overrated. Phoenix502's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    148
    Post Thanks / Like

    Visit Phoenix502's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Dialogue, how do you do it?

    perhaps the biggest hurdle with my sense of dialogue would be in writing different accents in an envisioned voice... I plan on my OC to be an expert in disguise and having watched enough films to get an idea of accents, he would use them to his advantage... as well as whatever sloppy use of a couple foreign languages...

    as for dialogue in general, I read quite a few books, so unless it's dealing with accents or foreign languages, it's not too much trouble for me.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •