Writing a good dialogue should be as easy as having a conversation with your best friend. Words should come to mind in an instant, flow together and make sense. The real niggle that many writers encounter is realism. Realism is hard to maintain without going off-topic, or breaking character, yet it can be done.
So, let’s go over how to write some good dialogue!
First, this is the fourth in a series of articles on writing a good book. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out earlier pieces, where I cover story structure, protagonists and antagonists. I would also like to hear what you aim for writing good dialogue.
With that said, let’s talk about realistic dialogue!
When writing an antagonist, you need to consider the purpose of a confrontational force in your story. Your hero is being challenged by someone or something for a reason. Is it for the purpose of creating an incredible adventure? Or is it to develop your character? Or is the antagonist the real subject of your story?
Finding this answer is the first key to writing a good antagonist. Now, let’s discuss that!
When it comes to writing a good story, it goes without saying that you need a good main character. One that you feel good when writing, one which readers feel good reading. The kind of character that truly fits their role in the story. However, it is so easy to miss the mark and write a character that is alright, but not good. A character which could have been better, a character that could have been memorable.
Well, here’s how to make sure you do.
Welcome to the first in a series of articles/videos where I talk about writing a good book. Advice, tips, examples and exercises that will help or challenge you to write a certain aspect of your story better, until it is at the very least...good. A good book is hard enough to find and a great book more so. However, what makes a great book depends on one’s opinion. Whether one likes a genre, a theme or even a character. However, most readers can agree on whether a book is good or not, bias cannot affect that.
I am going to show you how to write a good book.
Dialogue, much like any part of writing a novel, has its own challenges. There are many examples of dialogue falling flat, of dialogue being used for small-talk and other unnecessary conversations. I have organized this 5-step process to ensure you get a grip on great dialogue.
Let’s jump into it!
Confident writing is a sure-fire way to let your reader know they are in for a great story. Avoiding the basic mistakes, such as flowery language, helps you create a more believable world. You show your belief in the world through the language you use and confident writing is exactly how you do that.
Here are 7 practical tips for confident writing!
The antagonist, a character or characters that counter our protagonists, being an obstacle or an end goal. If the main character is the most important character, then the antagonist ties for that place. The importance of the antagonist cannot be understated, but we will talk more about that in a moment.
Here are 7 Tips for Writing an Amazing Antagonist!
You’ve started writing your book, but your character seems to be drifting. Their interest in the plot isn’t as sincere and you can’t help but force them to play their part. Be it a protagonist or antagonist, this problem with purpose is common in writing. I am going to show you a five-step method to give your character purpose in your novel.
Let’s jump into it!
One of the goals as a writer is to create a character that stands out. Your world is unique and wonderfully interesting, but are your characters? Can you tell who is speaking without a tag? Does your character even surprise your reader at times?
Let me give you 7 tips that will help you write unique characters. Let’s go!
It all begins with an idea. Not necessarily a great idea in the beginning, but an idea nonetheless. With creative energy, you can turn that idea into a story and that story into a full novel. Yet, there are more steps to take before you can write that novel in a month.
Let’s run through them!
Writing a powerful scene where one character gives up something valuable for another is not easy. Authors have struggled to convey the gravity of the situation to their readers, so what they read is a messy idea that falls flat. Yet, there is hope for your self-sacrifice scene.
Here’s how to write a jaw-dropping scene, oozing with character!
It is a trope that is often used in fantasy and for a good reason. The main protagonist is thrown into a new world, as clueless as to the threats and wonders it contains. Much like the reader, lending the reader an attachment to this protagonist, the reader learning as the main character learns.
Yet, why should the main character even care? Let’s talk about motivation.
Bad habits and weak words hold us back. We have ideas, dreams ready to be put on paper, but we find ourselves making the same mistakes. Our writing doesn’t strike the right chords. Luckily, it isn’t so difficult to fix those problems, break those habits and build an enjoyable novel or article.
Let’s talk about that!
From the poor advice of the inexperienced to the recommended videos, there are many lies forced upon writers. The fact is, we have all been recommended those make-six-digits-a-year videos and articles. We are tired of falling for those traps. If you have just started writing, here is the difference between clickbait and information.
The mystery genre has always been an interesting topic. Many of my students believe it to be a difficult genre, as you need to lay down a series of clues without arousing the reader’s suspicion. Yes, it is better if the reader doesn’t expect what happens next, but that isn’t what will make your mystery great.
Allow me to explain in this handy checklist for writing a mystery!
Be it in literature or film, when a character does something you don’t expect, it is a surreal experience. You always expect them to do something more fitting with who they are, but they sometimes go in the entirely opposite direction. I am going to go through these breaks in character with you and how you can write them.
Let’s jump into it!
The idea of doing anything creative without planning is common enough. In our youth, whether it was art or writing, we just started. We were either eager to write or eager to get it over with. For some writers, writing without planning is their way of doing things. Perhaps you are considering writing this way with your next novel, so here are some pros and cons of writing this way.
Writing a protagonist is fun, there is no doubt about it. Developing their style, their winning personality and forming an attachment to them. It is a powerful feeling. Yet, there is a mistake beginner writers often make when creating and writing their character. The character is flawless, they cannot go wrong.
Here is why you should go the other way and write flawed characters.
Pacing is something that few writers ever consider when writing their novel. Perhaps this is a good thing, as many writers have a natural sense of how to pace their novels. However, there are those who have too many quiet moments or far too many action scenes in their novel. I am going to show you how to pace your novel with an easy step-by-step process.
Let’s jump into it!
It is the eve of Halloween and my thoughts turn to that of terror. The night used to be filled with horrors that kept me awake and my heart pounding. Now, as I’ve grown older, what stresses me isn’t fictional monsters, but the same stresses every adult has. In that sense, it’s difficult to write a thriller to scare my readers.
Or is it?
The occult, the supernatural, science fiction and dark fantasy are just a few words to describe the works of H. P. Lovecraft. The cosmic horror from his works have spread around the world, images recognizable or not, his monsters and deities are a favorite among readers. Yet, what does it take to write a cosmic horror, a dark fantasy such as the Lovecraftian mythos?
It takes a nightmare.
We all have our own ways of writing. Writers prefer to write for themselves, writing a story in a way that they enjoy reading it. Some writers prefer to write for the readers, giving them a structure the reader is no doubt familiar with. Yet, the question is raised whether you can write an enjoyable story and novel if it were written as a TV show?
Let’s find out!
Writing a book is by no means a simple task, but it can be made easier through a rather interesting method. Whether you write a book with several perspectives or only one, writing the story in the character of the protagonist can have a profound effect.
Let’s jump into it!
Whether you have been writing for years or for weeks, writing in a group has a profound effect on your work. From speeding up the process of fixing basic mistakes, writing in a group is certainly a method to consider.
Let us check out what it has to offer!
You have read it everywhere. The negative articles on writing, the pains and mediocre rewards. Whether they surface on popular websites or in blog posts, these articles contain little to no positives on writing. In that sense, surfing the internet as a writer can be ultimately depressing. To balance it out, here is a mental splurge in the positive aspects of being a writer. Let’s begin!
You have seen plenty of articles discuss the benefits of daily writing. Yet, I'm sure few, if any, have told you how to get into daily writing. First, what about writer's block? What's the schedule? Where is the inspiration?
I will answer these questions and more. Here is how you can get the daily writing habit. Let's get to it!
For the beginner writer, writing involves gross amounts of verbiage. For the professional writer, writing is for the target market. For an effective writer, writing is getting a message across to the reader. What better way to do that than through simple, powerful sentences?
Dialogue is a wonderful essential for any book with speaking characters. Yet, it is easy to write mediocre dialogue. Here are 15 rules that ensure your next dialogue serves its purpose and has an impact on the reader. Let's break the ice!
You have heard these lies before.
Either from critics, people close to you or even yourself. These are the lies that are slowing you to a halt. The lies which cripple your creative flow, break your self-esteem. In short, these are the lies killing your passion.
I am going to tell you why these lies should mean nothing to you.
I had many expectations when it came to my writing career. What I envisioned was cliche, but it was desirable as well. Yet, what I got was completely different in the beginning. That didn't stop the dream, but I had trouble seeing how it would become a reality. For the writers with great expectations, this piece is for you. Read on!
Every writer has their personal rules that help them strengthen their writing style. These rules not only reinforce their way of writing, but push them to improve their writing as well. If you are sincere about improving your writing, you will start developing your own rules as well. If you don't know what rules to set yourself, I am going to share my writing rules with you so you can get an idea. Let's jump into it!
Now, this is a piece I have been looking forward to writing for a long time. There are novels that place me in a world that I can escape to. These novels have helped me grow as a person or helped me get through tough times. These are the novels that I can read today for a healthy dose of nostalgia. These are the greatest, must-read fantasy books in my humble opinion, let's take a look!
Writing has taught me more about business and life than I could have hoped for. I knew it would be a tough career getting into it. After all, the readers today are not the readers when I was growing up. Times have changed and so has the taste of everyone. To put that into perspective, I'm twenty-one and so much has changed. Here is what I know.
A question you need to ask yourself if you are considering a career in writing. Don't overestimate your interest in writing as a 'calling'. Your greater purpose in life is whatever you make of it. Like many career choices, you shouldn't jump straight into writing. I am going to ask you some clear questions that will help you decide once and for all if the writing career is for you.
More often than not, the side characters are better than the main characters.
You may find this a curious statement to make. The main character is the center of attention, so why are side characters better? It all comes down to creative freedom. I am going to tell you what you need to know about side-characters. Make them interesting, make them powerful and here is how!
At the time of writing this article I have written close to three-hundred stories. Writing a short story every day can me straining for even the most imaginative mind. However, after all this time I have developed my own techniques to make the challenge fun, filled with variety and improving my writing with each passing day. These are the techniques I am going to share with you!
Too many writers around the world struggle to write their novels. It’s understandable, every writer struggles with their first book. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t develop the habits of an effective writer as soon as possible. Over the years I have formed my own habits and so have other writers, but a lot of us share similar habits that make us more productive and overall, better writers. Let’s take a look and learn together!
The cold hard truth I want to start this article off with is gonna either hit you hard or you already know. Most writers will ultimately fail in their pursuit of writing. It’s terrible to think such talent will go to waste, but the fact of the matter is, you need more than talent to make it in any career, not just writing. Let me start with the first step to being the best writer you can be and make a career out of your work.
There are many intricacies when it comes to writing a first chapter, but you want to know how to make it great. I am going to give ten pieces of advice that will help you get your reader interested, gripping them with curiosity so they keep reading your novel. Let’s jump into it!
You have no doubt felt it weighing on you. That ever-present pressure that keeps you from progressing, that burden which stands in your way. The writer’s burden is a tough emotional and mental strain. In order to combat this problem, I walked the path so many writers have. Allow me to point you in the right direction; this is how you deal with the writer’s burdens.
One of the first problems you have no doubt encountered as a writer is making time for writing. With responsibilities taking priority, such as work or family, you are left scrounging for a half-an-hour to work on the book you have in mind. Sometimes, half-an-hour is the best you can get on a good day alone. I am going to give you some advice and solutions to your dilemma, helping you make more time for writing.
Cyberpunk, a sub-genre of science fiction that is growing in popularity of late. As a writer who is interested in the genre, I was left curious on how to write an investing cyberpunk novel. Having experience in science fiction, I did further research into cyberpunk and have collected some golden advice and guidelines to help you write your cyberpunk novel. Let’s get into it!
Your book has an interesting plot and you’re writing plenty in your process. However, you have that feeling at the back of your mind that the book can be improved. Changes could be made in order to make it stand out, to make the writing really stick in the reader's mind. How does one improve one’s writing? Here are ten techniques that will do just that!
The protagonist is a difficult character to write. You need to meet the expectations of the reader and at the same time, not be so generic. Afterall, so many protagonists seem to go the same way in writing today. I’m going to show you how to write a protagonist that both fits your plot, and fits their personality.
You are preparing to write your book, but your lack of factual depth is apparent. Thus, you have reached the point where you are searching for the right information to back your novel. What happened in certain periods of time? How does this machine work? What is the benefit of putting research into your story? I am going to tell you why!
You’ve experienced it before. Whether you read the first chapter or someone else did, the sense of starting and finishing the novel wasn’t there. You need to grip your reader and you’re only going to do that when you write a great first chapter. Here are five great tips to help you write the first chapter that draws your reader in.
We have all tried to avoid clichés in our writing. Clichés are overused ideas or tropes in any form of media and to have a clichéd character just feels lazy when you're writing. However, with most ideas already being done-to-death, there comes a time to realize that some clichés are just enjoyable to write and to read. Which is why I will be discussing with you some great clichés in fantasy writing. Let’s check them out!
You are struggling to create a villain that grips you. A villain which you can fear and respect, a villain which embodies everything that you hate. Well, I am about to give you some tips on making a strong villain that is not only great to read, but great to write as well. I will help you take your villain from basic to legendary!
Yes, you’re doing it wrong. Mistakes are common enough in writing, from spelling errors to bad grammar, but here are some mistakes that aren’t so obvious. I will help you identify these mistakes as well as provide you with the solution. Here are 5 mistakes you have made in your writing and how to solve them!
Have you ever wondered how to create a great name for your character? In this podcast discussion I give you some of the best advice I learnt when writing on how to name a character. From realistic to ridiculous, find out how to develop the ideal name in Writing Today!
You ever have those days where yo believe that everything has been predicted by a mad dude in his room, typing your whole story out on his computer only to publish it to his blog, thepennedsleuth.com, and then make a podcast reading it? I have those days...
This is an introduction to who I am and what I am doing with the Penned Sleuth. I am bringing you content and courses on writing.
I write, read, teach and discuss everything that I see fit to discuss with writing. It is a passion of mine and I am sure it is a passion with other young writers out there as well.
I hope you enjoy this introduction to the Penned Sleuth!
Good day, goodnight and I will see you in the next episode. Bye for now!