I need to learn how to write dialogue
This I believe is my biggest weakness and therefore my biggest challenge to overcome. If the dialogue is bad the stories going to be worse. Even just knowing how to punctuate and format my dialogue in my story telling seems confusing.
You need to use quotation marks, and a dialogue tag but don’t use the same tag too often or it becomes repetitive. Action that occurs before or after the dialogue in your story needs to be in separate sentences and you should start a new paragraph for a new speaker. The paragraphs need to be indented too…
Ellipses are used to indicate the trailing off of speech. Then there’s the whole part about if a characters ramblings go on paragraph after paragraph you need opening quotations at the start of each paragraph but end quotations only at the end of the entire dialogue.
For your discourse to be interesting and natural its best to cut all the small talk, less is best, this goes for dialogue tags too and action beats. Don’t be too elaborate. And the advice we all hear that to be a good writer “show don’t tell” applies for dialogue as well and pretty much means you should mask the information you want your audience to have in your characters conversations.
A proven method to see if a conversation is realistic and enjoyable for the reader is to say it out aloud, even record it and play it back to yourself.
So no matter how daunting it might be to write dialogue when you feel like your not just out of your depth but drowning, remember your characters voice is an integral part of their adventure, your readers want to hear it.
The only way to become truly great at it is to do it…. over and over again.
Wish me luck 🙂