Sunday, September 4, 2016

Writing Vivid Dialogue

Instead of adding an adverb to a dialogue tag to describe how a person speaks, consider using an action. First, some editors and publishing houses hate adverbs with the fire of a thousand suns. And secondly, an action tag can depict character so much more vividly. Does she hesitate or blush when she answers him? Does she fiddle with her cell phone, or pick at her nails, or twirl her hair? All are so much more descriptive than “shyly” or “hesitantly”.

Also consider painting some of the background into the conversation. Are they standing on a street corner in brilliant sunlight? Is it too hot? Is it winter and her toes are freezing inside her sexy pumps and she’s wishing she’d worn her boots?

Dialogue doesn’t have to be just words. The best, most fulfilling dialogue includes body language, scenery, and actions.

For more ideas on this topic check out

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

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