How To Write Short Stories – Part Six – Dialogue in Short Stories

If you have missed my previous parts the content is as follows –

Part One – General outline of what a short story entails

Part Two – How to get inspiration for your short story

Part Three – Characters

Part Four – Plotting Your Short Story

Part Five – Point of View in Short Stories

Dialogue in short stories is very important after all conversations make up a huge part of our day. There are a few rules when it comes to writing dialogue, if you follow my tips below it should hopefully make it a lot easier when it comes to writing your stories!

–          You need to identify exactly who is speaking.

–          To make your dialogue more realistic have the character doing something at the same time. Our lives are full of multitasking, whether you are on the phone to your best friend whilst unloading the dishwasher or talking to your mother whilst making her a drink of tea and this should also happen in your dialogue. It is really simple to put in as well, an example might be – “You really think this date will be different?” Susan asked as she brushed her hair.

–          Always put a comma/full stop at the end of the sentence but before the speech marks, for example, “.”

–          It does not necessarily have to be spoken, it could feature in an email, a text etc. by using various ways it makes the story more interesting.

–          Use dialogue to reflect the type of character you have created. For example if you have created an excitable character then their dialogue will be enthusiastic using a lot of exclamation marks. The reader will then be familiar with the character so will be able to know it is them who is speaking later on in the story.

–          Give your characters their own phrases and mannerisms through their dialogue as it brings them to life more. For example does one character always repeat a certain word or phrase such as ‘like’ or ‘you know’, does one swear etc.

–          Use alternative words to ‘said’ so it does not get too repetitive.

Hope this has helped you, Part Seven will be on FIRST and THIRD PERSON so keep a look out for that!

Sophie Chekruga 🙂


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