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  1. #1
    Regular battybegins's Avatar
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    Writing Dialogue (Help)

    Basically, I've been wanting to draw a comic lately. I used to draw LOTS of comic in high school but somewhere along the line I got super critical about my art and it kind of killed my inspiration for them. I'm finally brave enough to try again. But I have a really hard time starting to draw unless I have a concrete idea/script already written out.

    The problem is, while I'm pretty good at writing detailed prose my weak point is glaringly obvious: dialogue. When I try to write dialogue, especially for new characters it comes out forced and just...bad

    Is there any way I can practice/get better at dialogue? Please share tips if you have them. I can have a pretty good idea of what I want my characters to be talking about, it's capturing their voices that gives me trouble.
    Last edited by battybegins; 10-24-2014 at 06:14 AM.
    "People tell me it's a sin to know and feel too much within. I still believe she was my twin but I lost the ring".

  2. #2
    Junior systmaticwzl's Avatar
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    Dialogue is a rather tricky thing to write. You almost have to people watch sometimes to get what you'd like in your story. There's a ton of references out there that are simply there to help writers with dialogue troubles. You may want to check out: http://fixyourwritinghabits.tumblr.com/

    They have a good deal of articles on dialogue and reference points; gives ideas on what to say how to say it etc. There's even a search function so you can find exactly what you're looking for. Some of their posts have helped me a good deal on various things. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Senior Manna's Avatar
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    it's always important to remember that your characters are people, people with long rich backstories just like you

    neither a character nor a person is a "set of traits". I find a lot of writers say "This character is nice and likes to clean, so everything they say is going to be them striving towards being nice and cleaning". What you end up getting is a character who is spiritually obsessed with the "nice and neat" archetype, they start talking not as if they are naturally kind to other people, but as if they're forcing themselves to meet that virtue

    Characters, like people, aren't a summary of traits. They are a result of their personal history

    write out a rich backstory for your characters. All the events in their lives that might lead to them being the way they are today. Instead of saying "if I was x trait, what would I say here?" you should be thinking "If I came from these circumstances, what would I say?"

    Writing is incredibly dependent on your ability to put yourself into someone else's shoes. You have to learn how to be other people, and you also have to learn what makes you yourself.

    Figure out like "why do I like the things I do, how has my family history (wealth, status, etc) affected my upbringing / affected my current position, how does my current position affect me (someone from a rich family might have different values than someone from a poor family, a rich family that just immigrated to the US from another country might have different cultural values than a Western Neutral rich family)"

    basically figure out what and who you are and then NOT being those things will come naturally

  4. #4
    Regular battybegins's Avatar
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    Thanks for the resources and advice. Maybe if I approach dialogue and characters this way it'll come a bit more naturally.
    "People tell me it's a sin to know and feel too much within. I still believe she was my twin but I lost the ring".

  5. #5
    Regular Getta's Avatar
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    I don't consider myself particularly good with dialogue, but one trick I've taken to heart is reading my dialogue out loud and listening as I read it. Does it sound natural? Does it sound like a thing a person would reasonably say? Or does it sound stilted and forced?

  6. #6
    Senior Gnarl's Avatar
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    This may sound kind of dumb but, when I am having trouble with it, I write the lines each character would be saying and then get a couple of friends to read it aloud. that way I can listen and see if it works or sounds wrong. Note: each characters lines are on a different sheet of paper so neither knows what the other will say next. Makes it more interesting, and more like a real conversation, not prompted.

 

 

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