A to Z Challenge · Camp Nanowrimo

Character Development: D is for Dialogue and Dialect

Character Development, A-to-Z Blogging Challenge

D is for Dialogue and Dialect

As a reader, dialogue is my favorite thing to read. I have a bad habit of hurrying across block paragraphs of text, skipping ahead to the next patch of dialogue. I’m a distractable reader.

When we’re writing dialogue, it’s important to find ways to differentiate characters and their spoken mannerisms:

Like, do they always, like, speak like teenagers?
Do they use metaphors and similies like an author who’s swallowed one too many dictionaries?
Do they swear like a drunken sailor?
Do they have an accent or mispronounced things?

Why it Matters:

Without some variance in our character’s ways of speaking, we run the risk of all the characters sounding the same: just like ourselves. Been there, done that. Hoping to change things with practice.

Just don’t overdo it with the misspellings in the dialects and we’ll call it even.

Example Character: Dover

“I never did like them city people. Talkin’ too fast, they did. Always jabber jabber jabber, look at me and all my empty words. Twenty minutes of speakin’ and they ain’t said nothin’ at all yet.

“And just look all the good it did them in the end. Just like everybody else, poor suckers. Sittin’ there all doped up on LPDD drugs, cryin’ a river about how they ain’t never meant nothing to nobody.

“Well, guess what, genius. Ain’t never meant nothin’ before, don’t mean nothin’ now. That’s why I can’t stand them city people. All talk and no substance. Hell, they probably couldn’t tell you the difference between a quartz mine and a sandstone quarry, poor fools. You know, that important stuff in life.”

What are some tricks and practices you might use to keep the dialogues and dialects amongst your characters fresh?

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6 thoughts on “Character Development: D is for Dialogue and Dialect

  1. Great set of posts for A-to-Z. Glad I found you. Looking forward to more posts! I’m just getting started with my first fiction novel. Thanks for thanks for the great tips. Keep them coming!

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      1. No apology necessary. Most of the people that I have “met” in the blog-o-sphere are very understanding. They know most of us have a real life 🙂 I never minded moving, just the packing and unpacking. I hope all went smoothly

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