How to Write Believable Dialogue | Nicole York-McKeon | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Introduction and Syllabus

    • 2. Character Voice

    • 3. Purpose

    • 4. Motivation

    • 5. Approximating Conversation and Brevity

    • 6. Believability

    • 7. Subtext

    • 8. Read Aloud

    • 9. Class Assignment

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About This Class

Want to craft believable, riveting dialogue that will keep your readers invested in the characters, interested in the story, and turning pages late into the night? This class focuses on the foundational aspects of writing believable dialogue, such as character voice, motivation, and subtext. You'll get a comprehensive look at how dialogue is crafted, examples of what makes dialogue interesting, and tips on how to catch mistakes.


Meet Your Teacher

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Nicole York-McKeon

Photographer--Author--Digital Artist


Related Skills

Creative Writing Creative

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1. Introduction and Syllabus: well, welcome Teoh Riding dialogue. My name is Nicole York. I'm a photographer and a writer, but I also write novels under the pen name Nicole McEwan. In this class, we are going to talk about the foundational bedrock behind writing fantastic, believable dialogue. And at the end of the class there will be an assignment where we will each write some dialogue of our own that uses these principles. And then we'll critique each other's work so we can see how well we've done. If we do everything right than every person who takes this class should have a great foundation for writing dialogue that is believable and interesting and really helps the reader get invested in your characters and in your story before we get into the nitty gritty of how to do this. Let's just go over the outline really quickly. So you know what to expect. During the course of this class, we're going to talk about character, voice, purpose, motivation, approximating conversation, brevity, believability, subtext were also going to talk about reading your dialogue aloud so that you can catch anything that is off. And then we'll get into the class assignment so you can walk away from this experience feeling confident in writing fantastic dialogue 2. Character Voice: one of the most important aspects for helping readers suspend disbelief when they're reading a piece of fiction is giving them characters that they can relate to and writing believable dialogue is a key part of doing that, just like regular people. Characters are all different from each other, and they should all have a voice that stands out from the rest of the cast. Not only does this make it easier to distinguish who is speaking, but it also makes the character feel more real and grounded before you even start to write dialogue, take some time to really get to know your characters, know them intimately so that you can predict how they're going to respond to things and what kinds of things they would say in any given circumstance. You need to know things like where they're from, how old they are, what is their profession if they have one. Do they practise any kind of religion or have a belief system that might inform the way that they speak? Sometimes our belief systems even informed the swear words that we choose. Jobs often have jargon and slaying that's brought from work into our regular world speech They also affect the kind of metaphors and similes that we choose when we think and when we speak, does your character come from a place where they have a dialect or an accent that is unique ? If they do, consider how you can approach that and you're writing to make it feel believable without being confusing to read. Often times when people choose to write an accent, they'll include a lot of phonetic spelling. And while that does get the point across, it can be pretty confusing when it's all written in phonetic spelling. So consider whether it there might be a few words that a representative of that accent that you can use the phonetic spelling for and then concentrate on the rhythm, the cadence, the intonation of the speech rather than purely just the phonetic spellings. As you're considering all of these things about your characters, make sure that you're tying them into your real world experiences and research so that it seems as believable as possible. Remember, a 14 year old from a technologically advanced place is going to speak a lot differently from a farmer in his late forties in a place that's never experienced an industrial revolution. Whatever aspect of your character, you choose to influence their speech. Just make sure that that makes them unique from the other characters in your cast, so that they stand out not only in dialogue but so that their dialogue feels believable to who they are as a character here, we're going to look at a few examples of the same sentiment expressed by different characters, and hopefully we'll be able to see how all of the things we talked about before, such as the age of the character and their backgrounds, affect how they express themselves in the first sentence. Might I trouble you for a glass of water? We get the feeling that this character probably comes from a background where manners and propriety are very important. The second sentence can I have some water, is much less formal and implies a sense of comfort or confidence on behalf of the character . The third sentence I want a drink exclamation mark shows the kind of selfish lack of consideration that we might expect from a child, and the final sentence my throats about is dry. As a rich widows Eyes implies the kind of informal regional dialect that we might expect in some areas of the South and the United States, even though each character is essentially asking for the same thing. The manner in which they ask it says a lot about who they are as a character and also makes them completely distinct from the rest of the cast. This makes the dialogue more believable because it sets up each character as being a completely rounded character was grounded in their own history and experiences, and that will make it much easier for readers to not only identify with that character but to believe that character is a real person. 3. Purpose: just like everything you include in your writing. Dialogue should serve a purpose. It should either be moving the plot forward or revealing character. It could be setting the tone. It could be foreshadowing something. You can also use dialogue to break tension or inform the audience of something important. So if you need to move the plot forward, your character could be revealing something they've discovered like Jenny was never really in the movie theater. After all, you could be revealing character every time someone speaks. By the way that they respond to things, you could be foreshadowing by giving subtle hints to their speech that the reader doesn't realize until later on. You can also use dialogue to inform the audience of important things that they need to know about the back story or how the world works. You do need to be careful with this because you don't want it to seem like an info dump. These things should come up in normal conversation, but if you're careful about it, using dialogue to reveal information to the reader is a fantastic way to get across important world building aspects without making it feel like an info dump breaking the tension is another fantastic use of dialogue. There's a reason that comedic relief is a thing. Sometimes we need a way to kind of shake off the last really heavy scene, and dialogue is a great way to do that. So any time you go to write dialogue, just remember it should serve a purpose and preferably more than one if you want it to be believable and matter within the context of your story. For this example, we're going to look at a short scene from the Disney Pixar animated film The Incredibles. We're gonna pay attention to the dialogue, and then we'll break it down afterwards and find out what purposes the dialogue is serving within the context of the film way I use a water. There is no way you can just waltz ability getting weaker by the second gonna come down way . Okay, so the first thing to notice about the scene is that we're actually learning quite a lot, even though it might not seem like it. The language is informal, it is familiar, and it's very representative of English speaking, contemporary Western society. It also gives us a great look at the relationship between these characters, how familiar and comfortable they are with one another. And it's very representative of the buddy relationship trope. In addition to that, it's also giving us some great information about the way that these characters powers work . We not only learn that the powers thes characters possess have requirements and limitations , such as Froze owns requirement of having water in the air in order to use his power. But also, we learned that these characters need to use their powers carefully. Mr Incredible understands that the structural integrity of the building is important, and he realizes that though his strength is incredible, he cannot just use it on a whim without considering the ramifications, which is something that plays into the overall plot towards the end of the movie. When we see syndrome, who is not a superhero by nature, using his powers in completely irresponsible ways, that brings about consequences he could not have foreseen. So even though this is just a very small piece of dialogue in the overall movie, it gives us a lot of information in a short amount of time without wasting any words. So what were the purposes Dialogue served in this scene well, it revealed character by showing us the way that these two men interact with one another. It also gave us important information about how their powers work, and finally it reinforced the mood and the stakes of the situation. It told us that things were dangerous and that they were really in a tight spot. Do a little bit of reading or movie watching on your own. See if you can pick apart the reasons that the dialogue is being used, and then when you write your own dialogue, make sure that there is always a purpose behind the speech. Keeping the dialog relevant to the story this way will ensure that the reader will be interested, well informed and that the dialogue will remain believable. 4. Motivation: in the last part of class. We talked about the fact that dialogue should serve a purpose within the context of the story. But it's also really important for dialogue to serve the character's motivation, which ever characters speaking, they're going to be doing it for a reason. They have some intent, some purpose behind speaking. They always should want something from the interaction. And it's up to you as the writer to know what that is Now. Dialogue must have two people in order to work, and so you have to make sure that each character comes to the table with some separate desire. Some outcome they want from this conversation. What's really great about making sure you know this before the conversation happens is that it allows you to create tension and conflict. There could be a point where one character has a secret that they really want to hide, and the other character is looking for answers, and that creates automatic tension and conflict within the conversation, which makes it interesting to read. It also helps drive the plot forward, which is the kinds of things that's going to keep pulling your reader through the story now character motivation doesn't always have to require some kind of colossal consequences. In order to be interesting or relevant to the story and what the character desires, It could be something as simple as looking for comfort after a difficult scene. This is a great opportunity to show characterization and to create mood and also to create some emotional interest with the reader while also making sure that you're serving the purpose of that character's desires. Whatever it is your character wants, just make sure that it is clear to you before you start writing so that that can be communicated to the reader. Because if you don't know what your character wants, it is going to be obvious in their speech. And the reader is going to be left wondering what that was all about in the first place. And if you make that a habit, you're going to end up in the trap of having dialogue that serves no purpose. And it's just going to add useless book to your story and more junk for the reader to sit through in order to find that interesting thread that will keep pulling them through. All right, let's take a look at a few lines of dialogue and see if we can break down the character's motivations. Please, Mr, you have to help me find my little girl. I told you I ain't got no call to be Haring off across the country after a girl who's probably dead already. I just like, get myself killed in the process is find her. You're just gonna have to let her go. I will not and wait for the storm to clear and go Look yourself. It ain't my business, but I got the baby to look after. And that ain't my problem. He's too sick to write out in a winter storm with me. Let loose my arm. I'm not about to. Will you just leave her out there to die? After all we've done for you? I never asked for your kindness. No, but we gave it because it was the right thing to do. What kind of man are you to leave a little girl to mercy of bandits? Not a good one. But you'd get yourself near killed to bring me my husband's body. No, you're a good man. I know it. And you're gonna help me find my sissy. Uh, you are. I'll pack you some rations while you get the horse ready. There are a few things that we can infer right off the bat simply through the dialogue. We know that the male character has brought home the body of another man to his widow. We know that it almost killed him in the process and that the widow and her Children cared for this man while he recovered. We also know that she has a daughter that's been taken by bandits and a baby son who is too sick to go with her to look for the girl. There isn't too much subtlety about this dialogue. It's very clear in that both characters are after something different. The woman is obviously desperate. She's begging this man to help her. She sees him as her daughter's potential salvation. But this man has no intention of helping. He tells her multiple times that he is not interested in going after the girl. But we also get the sense from the way he says things and the things he's not saying as well as by his actions that maybe he's a better man than he thinks he is. And though we don't know why he is refusing to help, we get the feeling that this woman's desperation is slowly breaking down his barriers of refusal because each character wants something different. There is a lot of tension and conflict in the scene, which makes it really interesting, and we understand the motivation of each character, even though we don't necessarily agree with it. And because each character makes sense, it makes their dialogue very believable. It makes it interesting, and it makes us want to find out what happens next in the story which leads us to the next part of class, which is approximating conversation. No, you don't actually want your conversation to sound like rial life conversations. 5. Approximating Conversation and Brevity: Okay, I know it sounds kind of crazy to say you don't want dialogue to sound like real conversation, but bear with me for a minute. Here. Real conversation is messy. It's stilted. It often gets off track. There's many starts and stops. In fact, I bet if you think back over the last time you had a conversation with somebody, you can probably think of examples of times where you stuck your foot in your mouth or the conversation got completely derailed by something off topic. Riel conversation is just too messy to drive a story forward the way that great dialogue in a piece of fiction should. Ideally, great dialogue should approximate conversation. It should get close to rial conversation, taking the best parts out without getting mired down in all of the messy stuff that is in real conversations. That doesn't mean you can't ever include things like filler words or gaps in conversations to give that sense of realism. You absolutely can just don't go overboard because it will become difficult to read. It might be fantastic for a screenwriter or for a play where people can do those kinds of things that make the conversation feel more riel. But even in those circumstances, with people delivering the lines in interesting ways, if you go too far, it derails everything. And it takes away from the plot, which should always be the main focus of the story, which includes dialogue so approximate conversation. But don't go so far that it becomes messy, confusing or pointless. Now there is a caveat. Here. Let's say you have a character who is a Rambler like Jane Austen's Mrs Bates from Emma, and she is just rambling on about anything that crosses her interest or that she can think of. And that just seems like it is that whole derailing of conversation that we said is a bad thing. Well, if it's done well and it's done carefully than rather than derailing things, this could be a way to reveal information to the reader and also reveal character. That being said, it does require being very well done. So if you were going to break any of these rules, remember you had better do it well, and there should still be a purpose behind it. Even if it does become rambling or messy. The simple fact of the matter is readers have short attention spans now. This is not a knock on readers. I am an avid one, as I'm guessing, are you? But there are too many things that can pull attention away. And if your reader does not have their laser focus on the text, then chances are they're going to be easily distracted. So if your characters are speaking in these long, rambling monologues or soliloquies, then it is going to become really easy for something to distract your reader and for them just to put the book down or to get confused about what's going on and frustrated and just leave the story altogether. So just remember, as much as it is within the confines of the purpose of the dialogue, the motivation of the character and the character's voice keep that dialogue as tight and clean as possible. Any dialogue that rambles that loses the point or that repeats itself, runs the risk of forcing the reader to lose interest. This doesn't mean that you can never include monologues or soliloquies, but it does mean that those things should be few and far between, and you should be doing your absolute best to write them in a way that is as true to the character and as interesting as possible, because those are going to be the times when you're gonna lose people. In this example, we're going to start with some dialogue that looks and sounds very much like a real conversation with all of the common pitfalls, like filler words and starting and stopping and getting off track. And then we're gonna pair those things away and look at the dialogue as it would look, if we were approximating conversation that still felt riel, but not mimicking real conversation. It's just so hard to believe. You know what Jason really say? That? I mean, it would change everything. But you saw him yesterday, right? Yeah. But like only for a few minutes, I was waiting for my mocha, so I was practically incoherent. Who have you tried? Their new double mocha syrup. It's the best thing ever. So frickin chocolatey. I thought it was going to go into a diabetic coma. I had one a couple days ago when I went shopping with Sarah. Yeah, when you went without me, didn't you say you were waiting on the cable guy? Yeah, for like four hours was ridiculous. Hold a wasted. He didn't show up until the last minute. Of course, he wasn't even sure what the problem was. You want the rest of that? No. Go ahead. So did he say anything about T O when you saw him? Who? Jason. Um well, it wasn't. I mean, at the time, I didn't use Still. Yeah. You know how it was between us. But why didn't you? Isn't really anyone else's business. Okay. Okay. Cheese. Still, you should know if he did, it's I don't know. Um, yeah. I mean, it's not like I disagree, but I also kind of feel like it's not your business anymore. Now, let's pare away all of the extraneous stuff and see what we have left. Let's see if it still feels riel and interesting. But without all of the distractions, it's just so hard to believe. You know what Jason really say? That I mean, it would change everything. But you saw him yesterday, right? Yeah, but only for a few minutes. I was waiting for my mocha, so I was practically incoherent. You want the rest of that? No. Go ahead. So did he say anything about Tia when you saw him. Well, it wasn't I mean at the time. I didn't. You still Yeah. You know how it was between us. OK, OK, still t you should know if he did say he was falling out of love with her. Yeah, but I also kind of feel like even if he did, it's not your business anymore. As you can see, the heart of the conversation is still there. In the first conversation, we have the opener where they're talking about something serious is going on. A friend has said something very important about another friend. But then the conversation gets derailed. There's lots of starts and stops. There's lots of filler words, and it isn't until the end of the conversation that we get another little hint about what might be going on. But even then, just like in real conversation, there is a lot of internal references between these two characters who obviously know each other very well. But they're not sharing those things with the reader or the listener the same way that would happen in a regular conversation. In the second conversation, we've pared away all of that extraneous stuff. We've made sure that even though it still feels like a real conversation with a little bit of side notes and also a couple filler words, we still have the main thread, which is what Jason had to say about Tia. So even though the conversation still feels riel, we haven't lost that important plot thread that is keeping the reader interested in this story. In the next part of class, we're gonna talk about something that, unfortunately, a lot of writers miss, and that is a key to making dialogue feel like it has subtlety and death, and that is subtext. 6. Believability: in this section of class, we are going to talk about the little details that will help us encourage our readers to suspend disbelief and get fully immersed in the story through dialogue. If your reader can't suspend disbelief, there's a good chance you're going to lose them for the rest of the story or book. So you want to encourage them to believe that what they're reading Israel conversation coming from real people and the way that you do that is by paying close attention to the person speaking where they are, the time, the context and the situation and how your characters relate to each other. In the first part of class, we talked about making a unique character voice, and that comes into play when we're talking about the believability of dialogue because we need to know how each person speaks, What circumstances air gonna prompt them to speak? How would they respond to certain situations or stimuli? Do they have a particular vocal tic? Do they have a specific word that they say often? Is there something they're so passionate about that they have to speak about it? Any time the situation happens, you need to know those things so that you can reinforce the believability of that character's unique voice. But you also have to consider how place or location plays a part in the way people speak. Most of the time, people are gonna talk a lot differently in a bar than they would in some place like a church. Not just that, but someone from a different region say the American South is going to speak in a much different way from somebody in London or Kazakhstan. Whether your characters are located somewhere in the real world or in a fictional fantasy world that you've created, consider how place and region is going to affect the way that they speak. Time also plays a huge role in the way that people talk to one another. Consider the differences in Old English versus current day London. Imagine what it would be like to live in a world 2000 years in the future. Language evolves and changes over time, and that is something to consider when you're looking at creating really believable dialogue. Another thing you have to consider is the context and situation in which people are speaking, are your characters in the middle of a fight. If so, any speech that they share is probably going to be stilted. It's probably going to be quick and choppy, and it's probably going to get right to the point. But if your characters are in the middle of a wedding scene, they might be sharing long, drawn out expressions of love. Friendly banter in the middle of a bromance is going to sound much different than a business phone call. Finally, pay close attention to the way your characters relate to one another. Someone speaks to their boss in a much different manner than they speak to their wife or their mother or their best friend. If you don't take details like these into account, when you're crafting dialogue for your characters, then chances are the rear is going to realize something is off. If you throw a monologue in the middle of a fight scene, it's going to break that suspension of disbelief, and the reader is going to stop and say, Wait a minute. How does he have time to make a speech like this? So as you're writing dialogue, remember to pay attention to these little influences that can affect the readers suspension of disbelief because you want them completely invested in what your characters have to say . 7. Subtext: subtext. What is it and why should your dialogue have it? Some text is basically the meaning behind the words. It's what you can infer from what someone said, not purely based on the face value of the words. The reason that subtext is so important is because if you've ever heard or read speech that's considered on the nose, it basically means that the character is saying what they think or feel completely all of the time. And it becomes really obvious and boring. And it can feel kind of like the writer is speaking down to the reader as if the reader cannot in for these kinds of things from conversation. Just think for a moment about the last time you got a text and you thought to yourself, Well, what they mean by that you were automatically inferring subtext that may or may not have necessarily been there. That's the reason why we have things like emoji so we can make it very clear what we're trying to say. Humans are smart. We are used to this interpersonal connection where subtext is a normal part of conversation . So you want to include subtext in your dialogue, so that it not only it feels more real, but so that it is layered and meaningful. Let's look at an example of on the nose dialogue for a second, and then we'll compare it with adding some subtext so that we can see how it would be different if there were additional layer of meaning. Beneath that dialogue, my gazed out the back window inside. I feel like we're falling apart. Henry looked up from his laptop and shrugged before firing off another quick email. Yeah, he said, between sentences. I noticed that things have been hard lately. It's not really our fault. We haven't really tried to do anything about it. We've been busy. We have. I'll miss the benefits of our relationship, though the comfort it would require a lot of effort to save things we'd have to sacrifice and things without looking down. My spun her wedding ring around her finger. She pulled the blinds down, picked up her coffee cup and grabbed the newspaper off the counter before heading toward the living room. True, okay, it doesn't seem super terrible, but let's compare it to the same conversation. But instead of being on the nose or saying exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling. Let's give it a little bit of subtext. My gazed out the back window inside the garden is dying. Henry looked up from his laptop and shrugged before firing off another quick email. Yeah, he said, between sentences, I noticed that it's been a hot summer. We haven't bothered toe water it much either. We've been busy. We have. I'll miss the vegetables this fall, though I kind of wish we had taken better care of it. The water bill would skyrocket if we did. Without looking down, my spun her wedding ring around her finger. She pulled the blinds down, picked up her coffee cup and grabbed the newspaper off the counter before heading toward the living room. True now, remember, the subtext doesn't come from what the characters say per se, but it is implied by the rest of the story by their body language by the situation. All of those things imply the additional weight and depth to what these characters are saying without saying it. She's saying their relationship is dying and he's saying it's because we haven't been taking care of it. And so those things make the conversation much more interesting. It's dramatizing something rather than just throwing it at the reader and being like here, they're not Abby. You want the reader to be able to read into those scenarios, to look at the context, the body language, tones of voice, all of those kinds of things. And from what they know about the character, be able to infer that subtext. It becomes a lot more poignant, becomes a lot more powerful. Let's talk about how to create subtext in your dialogue. Now remember that the meaning is implied by things like the characters relationship, the time and a place that the conversation takes place. One of the things that you can use to make sure that the subtext is understandable to the reader is having your characters discussed something that's closely related to the issue at hand. So in the example where we're talking about are husband and wife, who are discussing a failed relationship. We are using a garden as an example, and this makes sense because a garden is something that requires care and relationships are something that requires care and effort, so that helps the reader to catch the subtext another way that you can create subtext is toe have the characters body language or thoughts not matched their speech. So as an example, let's say we have two characters and one says, How are you today? And the other character says, Oh, I'm good But when they say it, they're looking at the ground and their shoulders are hunched and they're digging at the ground with their toe, and it makes it clear through their body language that they're obviously not good. You can also give other little clues, such as how the character is dressed, what their facial expressions look like. You can include tones of voice to really show that what the character says is not exactly what they mean. You can also have their speech contradict things that they said or done in the past of the book, to make it clear that what's being said now is not necessarily what they mean. Some text is often the thing that separates really fantastic writers of dialogue from people who just write dialogue, passing Lee well, and that is because it is one of those very subtle things that happens in riel conversation that is a little more difficult and tricky to translate. So if you can mail subtext, that is one thing that will absolutely make your dialogue stand apart from the rest. All right, we've talked about unique voices. We've talked about purpose, character, motivation. We've also talked about brevity and approximating conversation and subtext. Now let's talk about how you can find out whether or not your dialogue is actually working . 8. Read Aloud: reading your dialogue aloud is something that's absolutely going to make you feel silly. But it is one of the best ways to catch whether or not the dialogue that you've written sounds right, that it's interesting that it makes sense, and that is going to translate well for the reader. If you've never done this before, I challenge you to look at the last piece of dialogue wrote and read it out loud to yourself. You will be surprised that speaking it completely changes the connotations, and you'll find that sometimes you've used words or idioms or you've put things together in a way that just doesn't quite flow like it should. And because we know what we intend in our head, when we write something, we don't always catch those little details. That's why reading it aloud is such a powerful tool to make sure that your dialogue is really saying what you wanted to say. There are a few ways that you can go about. This one is to just read it aloud and listen to the sound of your own voice. Another is to record yourself reading it and then play it back so that you can hear how it sounds. Something might be clunky or awkward or just not come across the way that you wanted it to . Maybe you're not catching the rhythms and the cadences of the particular dialect you want to use whatever it is is going to be easiest to hear. If you can hear it back, there are text to speech applications out there, ones that you can download. Also, Microsoft Word has this option in the review panel. You can click on read aloud, and wherever your cursor is at, it will begin reading from that point now. It obviously doesn't sound as natural as a real person reading it, but it still gives you a really good idea of how the sentence comes across. If you're brave and you really want to, you can even ask somebody to read it aloud for you. However you go about it. This is a fantastic way to hear whether or not your dialogue is really working the way that you wanted to. Now you don't have to take my word for it. Go back to some of your favorite books and read through the dialogue, and I bet you'll be able to catch that your author is doing these things. They have given the characters unique voices that help them stand out from the rest of the cast. They do have a purpose behind every time dialogue happens, whether it's so that the character can learn something or so that they can reveal how a character truly feels about something or so that they could create mood and tension. I'm sure you will also see that each character has a motivation behind why the dialogue is happening, that there is subtext there. Look at those things, see how they work in dialogue that you love. And then let's move on to the class assignment so you can take everything that we've learned so far and put it to use. 9. Class Assignment: Now we're really gonna see how well you've learned what we've talked about in this class. Your class assignment is to write 2 to 300 words of dialogue using the things that we talked about in class. The dialogue should be between two characters, but it should not include any obvious personal information such as names or ages. And there should be no dialogue tags. Yes, I know it seems diabolical, but I think you'll see why it's such a valuable exercise. When I read the example of the format I want you to follow, I'm not gonna use any character voices here because I don't want to give the game away. So I'm going to read it flat and hope that the dialogue itself gives you all of the clues you need. He said I couldn't go cause I'm not big enough. He never lets me go and he pushed me down. You won't always be small, baby. Just look at your daddy. You'll probably be as tall as he is one day. How come I gotta wait all the way till one day? I want to go fishing now. I know you do, but there are lots of things you can do even when you're small. In fact, there are some things on Lee small people can do. Like what? Well, like sneak into a dragon's cave and steal their treasure and fit under beds. I'm gonna go play upstairs. There is a lot of subtext going on. There is also a lot revealed about what's happening in this tiny little itty bitty story, and that is how you're going to know whether or not you've succeeded in writing your dialogue. Our classmates are going to critique what we've written and going to answer the following questions so that we can see how well we did. Was the speaker easy to identify? What were the identifying characteristics of each speakers? Dialogue? Could you assume anything about the character through their dialogues, such as their age, gender, place of origin or belief system? Did you pick up on any subtext for deeper meaning to the conversation beyond the obvious? What do you think happened in the past that brought these two characters together for this conversation? What did each character want from the conversation? Was there dialogue believable? Not only is getting a critique from your classmates going to help you learn whether or not you did what you set out to do. But it's also going to help you as you critique your fellow classmates to see how this all actually works in written dialogue. In fact, feel absolutely free to critique the couple of lines of dialogue that I've written as an example and see what you can get out of it. That is it for this class. Thank you so much for joining me for writing dialogue. This is a bit of a 101 class, but it includes all of the foundational concept behind writing dialogue that is believable for fiction. I hope that you got something out of it and that it helps you write dialogue that is interesting to your readers and really drives the story and keeps the readers turning pages . Best of luck on your writing Journeys Get out there and right amazing things