Dialogue is the spoken exchange between characters. It reveals their personalities, motivations, and relationships. Dialogue provides insight into who they are. It’s an important tool for character development.
When writing dialogue, it is standard to use quotation marks around the words spoken by a character and to indicate changes in the speaker by starting a new line or using a comma.
“Hello,” said John.
“Hi,” replied Sarah.
“How are you today?” asked John.
“I’m doing well, thanks,” said Sarah.
It is also standard to indicate actions or descriptions of a character’s behavior or appearance in the same paragraph or sentence as the dialogue, using a comma to separate the dialogue from the action.
“I’m glad to hear that,” John said, smiling.
“Me too,” Sarah replied, crossing her arms.
Pay attention to the punctuation and capitalization of dialogue in order to make it clear who is speaking and to convey the rhythm and tone of the conversation.
Finally, please note the way you write dialogue can also indicate the speaker’s emotions and tone, for example using italics, exclamation marks, or ellipsis.
A Dialogue tag is a phrase or clause used to indicate who is speaking in a conversation. Dialogue tags typically come after a character’s spoken words, and are separated from the dialogue by a comma.
They can be simple such as, “said” or “asked”, or descriptive, such as “shouted” or “whispered”.
“I’m glad to hear that,” John said.
“Me too,” Sarah replied.
“Not yet,” Sarah said firmly.
The dialogue tag can also include an action or description of the speaker’s behavior or appearance, which is known as a “beat”. This beat helps to create a vivid image of the scene in the reader’s mind.
“I’m not sure,” John said, scratching his head.
“I think we should give it a try,” Sarah said, biting her lip.
It’s important to use dialogue tags with caution, so as not to interrupt the flow of the conversation or to overuse them.