Rarely is a main character silent. Or really rarely there is a story without dialogue involved, but it has to be natural. Unless the person has the personality of the starched collar of a shirt, the dialogue shouldn’t be stiff. It has to flow, be quirky, much like the character of whom speaks it. Here are the some main components to keep in mind when working on dialogue with your character.
- Take a look into the character’s personality. If they are confident, they will show it through their words. If they are socially awkward, like myself, including a stutter or even regular foot placements within the mouth can help.
- Keep the region they grew up in in mind. It’s been found that the slang of y’all isn’t exclusive to the south, but there are slangs used in different regions of any country. Use the slangs properly, because you may loose your reader if you character changes back and forth between soda, pop, cola, and Coke.
- Make sure it fits the situation. If the conversation ends up being inappropriate for the situation, making a joke from it’s okay, as long as you go back to the main focus of the scene.
- This character comes with accents included! Slang is one thing, but accent is another. When writing a character’s dialogue and they have a strong accent, it is usually written phonetically to show what it looks like, or for the reader to verbalize the accent themselves. I’ve seen this done a lot, especially with foreign accents used with English. If you are using a foreign language in your dialogues, watch videos of someone speaking in that language, or a non-native speaker using English. Writing down how words sound phonetically as you hear them can be really helpful. Just like with using slang, be consistent. There is no way a character is going to be able to go from accent to no accent within two or three sentences.
- Use sarcasm properly. If you don’t know how to use it, then just don’t. Unless your character is socially awkward and you want to use attempts at being sassy as humor.
- Make sure they know who they are talking to. Use what your character relationships are like as a reference point to create conversation between characters.
- Keep the emotions in check. This applies to both descriptions and dialogue. If you’re character is upset show it not only through their actions but their words as well. Words will become harsh when a character is upset and soothing when providing comfort. Make them scream, fight, punch a wall, anything that they are feeling as they feel it.
I hope these components help out. Keep your characters talking, eventually they’ll have their own flow going. 🙂
Don’t Forget to Check Out the Other Posts for Character Creation:
Want to keep up with series posts? Click here to sign up for the weekly newsletter!