Skip to main content

#atozchallenge: D is for #Dialogue #fiction #writing #quotes

Theme:  Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing  

The A to Z Challenge is whooshing ahead, and I feel a little dizzy and breathless with all the visiting and emailing and whatnots.

 I did schedule the main content of these posts but I still come in each day to make sure things are ok before I hit ‘post’.
Forgive me if I haven’t visited back everyone who has commented on my AZ posts so far, but I promise I’ll get to you!

Today, we’re discussing dialogue in fiction, a facet of writing which brings a novel or short story to life. Of course there are stalwart writers who’ve done without dialogues (Gabriel Garcia Marquez comes to mind), but by and large most writers of fiction do use dialogue in their work, to some extent or the other.

Dialogue or Dialog is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more (“dia” means through or across) people. ~Wikipedia

Here are the writing quotes for today: 

“I’ve found that good dialogue tells you not
only what people are saying or how they’re communicating but it tells you a
great deal – by dialect and tone, content and circumstance – about the quality
of the character.”
–E. O. Wilson

“Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. Once you start spelling
words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apos­trophes,
you won’t be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the
flavour of Wyoming voices in her book of short stories Close Range.”
–Elmore Leonard 

“If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.” — John Steinbeck 

“An often overlooked advantage of dialogue in novels and stories is this simple: it provides white space on the page that makes the reader feel that the story is moving faster because the reader’s eyes move quickly down the page.” — Sol Stein


Is writing dialogue your strength or weakness as a writer? Is there a memorable dialogue from fiction or movie that you can quote offhand? Why do you remember it?


Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.