Dialogue Basics Activity 06: Encouraging

Speech as action


It can help to think of speech as an action. People don't speak for no reason!

Characters often try to influence each other through their emotions.

For example, characters can affirm and encourage each other.

“Baby, I’m so proud of you! I told you that you were just as good as those other girls.”

“Well, it was only once …”

“Don’t give me that. You do it once, you can do it again. Start a trend. Believe and achieve!”

Mango DelightFracaswell HymanSource

Notice in this exchange that Mango protests her mother’s encouragement, but her mother keeps going anyway.

“I don’t know,” the big cat said.

“But I do, so listen to clever Gobgap. You’re bigger and broader and hairier than any lion. Just one look at you, Cat, and they’ll run like kittens.”

“Go! Go! Go!” I could hear the group chanting over the waterfall as I nervously stepped to the edge of the rock.

“You can do it Eliza!” Carmen’s voice cut through the rest, as clear as the water below.

What's the difference between encouragement and a command?
Your turn
"I have no idea," he screamed, "where to put the punctuation marks in this so-called 'dialogue'!"

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