Backing Up Backstory Revisited

When we talk about backstory it can be easy to assume that it is explicit along the lines of ‘When I were a lad…’ (a little colloquialism for you). However, backstory can implied through what a character says, how they say it, and what they don’t say. The final one might sound odd in an … Continue reading Backing Up Backstory Revisited

Dabbling in Dialect Revisited

Dialect is closely related to grammar in speech because the two are so often linked. Often a heavily colloquial voice will have non-standard grammar, but a very upper-class voice might also because they have their own form of dialect. As an example British English is rife with these sorts of contrasts because it is so … Continue reading Dabbling in Dialect Revisited

Elliptical Ellipses Revisited

The basic function of an ellipses [… ellipses are always three stops, never more or less] is to create a hesitation or have a character trail off; examples might be trailing off before finishing a well-worn phrase because everyone knows how it ends or because they don’t know what to say. The full stop, on … Continue reading Elliptical Ellipses Revisited

Grammar in Speech Revisited

Speech doesn’t need to be grammatical because people don’t speak grammatically. The say things the wrong way round, use the wrong words, misuse phrases, punctuate places that defy ‘the rules’ and do all sorts of different things that you wouldn’t expect. There can be a point where arguably it’s possible to go too far, however, … Continue reading Grammar in Speech Revisited

Dictating Dialogue Revisited

This week were looking at a few of the technical bits of dialogue before we get to making those voices individual. Monday - Grammar in Speech, Does speech need to be grammatical? Tuesday - Elliptical Ellipses, What are ellipses and can we use too many? Wednesday - Dabbling in Dialect, Finding balance in dialect. Thursday - Backing … Continue reading Dictating Dialogue Revisited

Please Mind The Gap Revisited

So we’ve discussed what we can put into dialogue and what we can take out of dialogue maybe it’s time for what doesn’t need to be said. Previously we’ve looked at the concept of what the reader needs to know and when they need to know it and the same can be said of dialogue. … Continue reading Please Mind The Gap Revisited

Verbal Verbosity Revisited

The best advice I ever read was from William Ash in The Way To Write Radio Drama: ‘What is required is very carefully wrought dialogue which contrives to sound natural.’ (Page 42) What Ash means by that is that a writer doesn’t need to exactly replicate modes of speech. On the most basic level when … Continue reading Verbal Verbosity Revisited

Frenetic Phonetics Revisited

The way a lot of writers have been known to create accents is by using phonetics and I have to say I don’t like this as a method. Maybe it’s because my regional accent has been mauled by such attempts, or maybe it’s simply because I had to read an entire book written phonetically while … Continue reading Frenetic Phonetics Revisited

Distinction in Dialogue Revisited

Why have I called this article Distinction in Dialogue? Partly because that’s what it’s about, but mostly because I love a bit of alliteration when I can get it in. There’s something very satisfying about alliteration, like an unintentional rhyme or pun. It might seem like I’ve already gone off track here, which would be … Continue reading Distinction in Dialogue Revisited

Discussing Dialogue Revisited

This week it's the first collection of articles breaking down dialogue in fiction. Monday - Distinction in Dialogue, is there such a thing as speech being too distinct? Tuesday - Frenetic Phonetics, creating accents in speech. Wednesday - Verbal Verbosity, the difference between written speech and real speech. Thursday - Please Mind The Gap, saying … Continue reading Discussing Dialogue Revisited