Writing Exciting Dialogue in a Short Story

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So, you’ve decided to write your first short story. Congratulations! Welcome to the world of creating a memorable story in less than 5,000 words. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s easy. As a matter of fact, writing an meaningful and exciting story in 5,000 words or less is sometimes a nightmare, but then again, there are times where it’s extremely easy.

Most of my short stories start as a basic idea. I’ve thought of a character and now I want to put him/her in a certain situation and see what happens. Other times my short stories are a brief moment in time that I’ve envisioned and the characters are nameless and faceless. Either way, you have to write exciting dialogue in short stories and all creative writing for that matter.

You may be asking yourself, why does my story have to have exciting dialogue?

Here are some of my top reasons:

  1. You are creating a story that is less than 5,000 words. We need to understand your character and what better way to do that than show us exciting dialogue.
  2. Dialogue can tell a story on its own. I’ve seen stories written that are completely dialogue. Just a conversation between two people and the story was A-mazing!
  3. Dialogue allows the reader to get inside your characters head. This includes thoughts. Thoughts are dialogue in a sense if you think about it.

If you need more reasons to write exciting dialogue, take a look at your favorite novel and imagine all your favorite characters speaking in boring monotone voices (Bueller, Bueller!). Not very fun is it? Now, imagine your favorite movie with actors that didn’t talk at all. Not fun at all, right? To me dialogue is one of the most important parts about writing. If you can’t figure out a way to write exciting dialogue, people won’t connect with your characters and I can promise you that if they can’t connect with your characters, they won’t keep reading. Believe me, I’ve learned this the hard way.

So, now you’re probably asking yourself, how do I write exciting dialogue?

  1. Stay true to your character. Don’t use dialogue that your characters wouldn’t use.
  2. Come up with fun catchphrases for your characters to use. Not only does this make for exciting dialogue, it also adds to characterization.
  3. Be sure that your characters don’t just drone on and on. Just use direct and fun dialogue to engage your reader.
  4. It’s okay to use offensive language, as long as it makes sense to your story. Don’t just drop F-bombs in there for the sake of it.
  5. Read your dialogue aloud. If it doesn’t sound right to the ear, then it’s not right.
  6. Use fun accents occasionally. This one is fun for me, but I know a lot of people don’t think you should use accents. I like to add in an occasional “y’all” or “gonna”, just so my characters sound more believable. We don’t all speak in perfect English, why not represent that with some of our dialogue?

These are just my personal opinions to writing fun and exciting dialogue. If you have any opinions of your own, comment below and share with the rest of us.

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