O'Reilly logo

Crafting Dynamic Dialogue by Cheryl St. John, Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 20

Putting Dialogue to Work

James Scott Bell

“Are you ready to go, Pookums?”

“Yes, Darling.”

“That’s grand.”

“Yes, it is.”

“Such an interesting life we lead.”

Oh, really? Not if this dialogue is any indication. Characters can declare their feelings all they want, but it’s the reader who must be touched for your tale to work—and dull, two-dimensional dialogue is an instant story killer.

One of the fastest ways to improve your fiction is to sharpen your characters’ discourse. You can do this effectively by considering mood, pace, and meaning.

Supporting the Mood

Dialogue that’s consistent with the mood of a novel can help pull readers into emotional moments and deepen the reading experience. In Robert B. Parker’s Double Play, World War II ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required