Module 16

Dialogue is The Speech or Conversation


Dialogue is the speech or conversation in a story, and, as with plot and character, it cannot be copied directly from real life. In this creative writing module you will learn:

Real life dialogue has a number of functions such as:

  • To reveal information – “Hey Mum, I’m just going down to the shops.”
  • To acknowledge comment – “Yes, I got that.” – “No, it hasn’t come yet.”
  • To gain information – “Dad, where did you put the towel?” “What’s the capital of Tibet?”
  • To propose a course of action – ” If we go to the beach, we could take sandwiches.”
  • To express emotion – “I’m really nervous about this.” “I hate that!”
  • To discuss ideas and opinions – “Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could fly?”
  • To make contact – “Hello, I’m Debbie.” “Oh, there you are!”
  • To fill in time – “Nice day, isn’t it?”

These are legitimate samples of everyday dialogue, but they don’t make riveting reading.

The real difference between real dialogue and effective dialogue in fiction is that real dialogue is often nothing but chatter or social oil, while effective fictional dialogue always has a purpose.

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