Narrative Basics Lesson 4: Speech and Dialogue

Ways of writing speech and dialogue


One way to write speech is with dialogue, which means writing out exactly what the speaker said

"Let’s go into the center of it," said Gregory.

"That would be a really bad idea," Kalgrash warned.

Gregory’s voice was dead, somehow pallid. He said, "It would be great to go in there. Just to see."

"No," said Kalgrash. "It would be kind of awful and you wouldn't live. You’d be pulled apart or something and you’d come out the other end all scissored up."

The Suburb Beyond the StarsM.T. AndersonSource
How realistic does dialogue have to be?

“I wouldn’t if I were you,” I said.

The leader lion laughed, rough and mocking. “If you were me you’d be a big scary lion. Not a tasty little boy,” he said. 

“And if I were you I wouldn’t be Clever Gobgap, who knows many things,” I said.

“Well?” Carmen asked, eyes laughing. 

“Well what?” I replied.

“What did you think?”

I smiled and looked away, not entirely sure what to say.

I meekly muttered, “It was… fun, I guess.”

“You guess!?” Carmen exclaimed, and wheeled to face me. “Come on, Eliza! Live a life!”

Pay attention to your punctuation when you write your variation below! Look at the examples above for guidance.

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