Top Tip Of The Week

Dreary Dialogue

So, you want your dialogue to sound as realistic as possible? If you listen to everyday speech, you’ll notice that it goes something like the following:

“How are you today, Mavis?”

“Oh, I’m…er…not too bad. Well…um, now you mention it…uh, it’s…you know…well, this knee, um…well, I just have to…you know, put up with it. are things with you?”

“Well…it’s Trevor. He…um…I…I…he’s…well…it’s awful, Mavis, just awful! It’s his…you know…his heart.”

This may be a slight exaggeration, but our natural speech is full of ‘ums’, ‘you knows’, pauses etc but in a story, your reader will have fallen asleep by the time she finds out Trevor’s got problems with his heart. The odd ‘um’ and pause is fine but too many and it slows the pace of the story and will have your reader putting the story down.  

Here’s how the above example can still come across as realistic but it won’t lose you your reader:

“How are you today, Mavis?”

“Oh, I’m not too bad. Well…now you mention it, it’s this knee. But I’ve just got to put up with it. How are things with you?”

“It’s awful, Mavis, just awful! It’s Trevor…it’s his heart.”


Happy Friday and enjoy the weekend:




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4 Responses to Top Tip Of The Week

  1. Shawler Agbaje says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’ve always wondered why authors don’t write more realistically, I guess you answered it. The ums and well were kinda frustrating to read.

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