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Fanfiction Tips and Tricks No. 2: Dialogue

How to write dialogue that will reel your audience into the story

By Taylor BitzPublished about a year ago 4 min read
A fanfiction dialogue prompt

In yesterday's article, we covered characters and how to make a compelling character that your readers will enjoy and be emotionally invested into. In this article, we will be covering dialogue, and how to create engaging and compelling dialogue that will draw your readers further to your story with the help of your fully fleshed-out characters. Like the last article, I will share five tips to make your dialogue compelling enough to draw your readers in, help them stay with the story, and overall become more invested in your characters. Good dialogue makes great characters.

Tip #1: Try to avoid cliches.

As I said in my last article about creating characters, avoid, or attempt to avoid cliches, especially in dialogue. You can use some cliches, but they are often the make or break of a story. It's a similar rule to using similar words, such as "just then" or "actually", and my personal favourite, "and they all lived happily ever after". Dialogue in fanfiction has to closely resemble real-life dialogue. Just listen to any two people speaking to each other. No two person's dialogue is the same. Or watch a TV show or movie. No matter how far the characters may seem from real life, the dialogue of each character has a different pattern in tone.

Take the television show The Originals, for instance. Each character has a different speech pattern and tone of voice. Klaus' dialogue is emotive, but his voice is very light and the accent adds to the character. Elijah has a slow speech pattern, with a deeper voice. Characters like Hayley and Cami invoke very optimistic patterns of speech, and the casting for these characters helps, as well as facial expressions and hand movements, let alone body language.

Tip #2: Don't be afraid to show emotion through your dialogue.

Your readers have to feel the emotion in every piece of dialogue you write. If you're writing a horror fan-fiction, your readers have to feel the panic and fear that your characters are feeling. If you're writing a romance fan-fiction, your readers have to feel the passionate, lovey-dovey feelings that your characters are feeling. And it works for literally every other genre that fan-fiction caters to. Your readers have to feel the emotion you're trying to convey. If you've got good dialogue, grammar, punctuation, etc., but your readers aren't feeling the emotion, you have to choose words that convey emotion. And another tip: describe your character's body language, hand movements and facial expressions to help convey that emotion. Frown = sad or worried. Smile = optimistic. Looking down towards the ground = deep thought or remorse.

Tip #3: Don't exaggerate your dialogue.

Your dialogue needs to say what you mean and mean what you say. It needs to not be overloaded. Simple and sweet is the name of the game. Trying to use big vocabulary or complicated wording is a surefire way to lose your readers. They need to be focused on the plot, not on the large words you're throwing their way. Now, of course, if your character is big on technology or medicine, then, of course, they're going to use big words, but it doesn't mean it has to be a defining part of their character. They can use some little words too.

Tip #4: And for heaven's sakes, please use some proper grammar!!

I've read great stories that had terrible grammar and punctuation. Granted, a lot of them were written by twelve and thirteen-year-olds, but please, just use some proper grammar and punctuation. Trust me, it enhances a story by a long shot and allows your readers to delve deeper into your characters and the story you're trying to tell. Don't use too large words, and don't confuse your readers with run-on sentences and lack of punctuation marks, such as full stops and question marks. Don't be one of those cringy stories on a fan-fiction platform that has a great storyline but bad grammar and punctuation. There's an amazing Chrome browser extension that I use to edit all of my Vocal stories: it's called Grammarly. It works on sites like Wattpad and I use it for my fanfictions. It's completely free and it has both premium access (if you're willing to spend a bit of money) and free access, which is the one that I use. It spell-checks everything for you, so you don't have to do all of that work yourself, and if you're a creator on Vocal, it means your articles don't get sent back to you for revision because of grammar issues.

Tip #5: Happy writing!!

As always, happy writing!! No matter what platform you decide to use, no matter what fandom you're in that you're passionate about, you go! I really hope some great stories come out of your adventures into fanfiction. Good luck.

And as always, please subscribe and keeep reading my stories. Also please consider donating to my Patreon and my Linktree so I can keep writing great stories for everyone.

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About the Creator

Taylor Bitz

Hi!! My name is Taylor.

I'm big on writing about fanfiction, movies, TV and of course my own original stories (mostly fantasy stories, featuring bad-ass female characters)

My Wattpad profile:

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