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Narrative Basics Lesson 4: Speech and Dialogue



Characters need to talk to each other, so stories usually have speech and dialogue. 

But it helps to think of speech as an action. People don’t speak for no reason—people speak to persuade, entertain, inform, frighten, mock, reassure, and so on.

For instance, what are the characters doing in this snippet?

“You tell me whose house this is.”

“Our house!”

“Who are we?”






“Team on three. One, two, three!”


All American BoysJason ReynoldsSource

The entire snippet is dialogue. But what are the characters doing with their dialogue?

The coach is pumping up the team. The team are responding to the coach’s energy.

So in this lesson we’ll focus on speech as a kind of action.

Gravity Falls gif of Mabel saying this is a dumb idea for poop heads

It's not, so let's get into it.

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