Dialogue: More Than Just a Conversation!

Person A:

“Hi! Good morning!”

Person B:

“Hello. How are you?”

Person A:

“I’m doing just great! The weather is so beautiful for a Fall day! How are you feeling?”

Person B:

“I’m stressed about work, and I wish I could go outside at some point…”

The sentences you just read above are a few examples of dialogue. Dialogue is used as a way for two or more characters to communicate. However, a good writer can use their dialogue to communicate between characters AND communicate ideas to their audience!

In this post, we will analyze the different uses of dialogue: dialogue for communication, dialogue for character development, dialogue for plot, and dialogue for exposition.

Dialogue for Communication

Dialogue is a conversation between two or more characters. Like speaking in real life, dialogue is dynamic, quick, and demonstrates knowledge or lack of knowledge. In the example above, Person A and Person B are saying hello, asking questions, and revealing information to each other. However, good dialogue also includes other subtle traits!

Dialogue for Character Development

Character development refers to a writer’s attempt to “flesh out” a character and provide them with identifiable traits. Through dialogue, a skilled writer would be able to make it clear about how a character acts through their words instead of simply telling the reader.

For example, instead of writing that “Person B is a serious and sad person,” the example above suggests their personality through their conversation with Person A. When Person A says hello very happily and chipper, Person B replies much more formally. While Person A responds excitedly and positively, Person B replies somberly and pessimistically. The back and forth between these two gives us a good idea of character traits because of the way they speak!

Dialogue for Plot

A plot is the sequence of events that happen throughout a story. For example, in Little Red Riding Hood, the plot unfolds like this: