Common Mistakes in Dialogue

Following on from a previous post about dialogue (click here to read it), I’d like to look at some common mistakes made, when writing dialogue.

When writing dialogue, it’s important not to have mistakes in it. Some common mistakes include:

  • Saying ‘Ummm’: We might use it in real life, but it has no place in our writing.
  • Using character names in the dialogue: This is alright if used appropriately, but not if it is used often.
  • Long speeches: These can bore the reader, and could result in them putting the book down.
  • Not using dialogue tags: In long conversations, if dialogue tags are not used, readers can lose track of who said what.
  • Don’t include pleasantries: These bore your readers, and are really unnecessary. Get to the point.
  • Sounding stilted: Don’t let you dialogue be to ‘formal’, or unfluent. Instead of saying “Mother, I would not like to meet this person. He is a disgusting man,” say “I don’t want to talk to him mum. He’s gross!”

I’m sure there’s more common errors when writing dialogue, but that’s just a selection. Avoiding them should take your dialogue from being ‘okay’ to ‘great’. And isn’t that what we want?

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One Response to Common Mistakes in Dialogue

  1. Merrilee says:

    Nice summary 🙂 And funnily enough, I’m reading a story now that makes a lot of these mistakes. Really creates a poor impression.

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