\u2018Fancy seeing you here,\u2019 the proofreader says, raising an eyebrow. \u2018Word is you\u2019re writing a novel and need some help. Well, you\u2019ve come to the right place.\u2019 The proofreader takes your hand, gently but firmly leading you to a mysterious door in the corner of the room.\r\n\r\n\u2018Come with me,\u2019 he says as he turns the handle, \u2018and I\u2019ll teach you all about writing great dialogue.\u2019 And as the door opens, you are dazzled by a bright light and feel the following tips fill your mind\u2026\r\n1. Listen to People\r\nTo sound real, dialogue should mimic the feeling of real conversation. A good way to get a sense of this is to listen to other people speak. Take note of the expressions people use, the way conversations flow and change, and how speech differs from written language.\r\n\r\nDon\u2019t worry about making your dialogue too realistic, though. Human conversation is full of \u2018umms\u2019 an \u2018urrrs\u2019, and including these in your writing may make it feel stilted. You can, however, add a verbal pause of this kind in written dialogue to show that someone is hesitating.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_6530" align="aligncenter" width="369"] People also interrupt and speak over one another in real life. And that's why books are better than conversations.[\/caption]\r\n2. He Said, She Said\r\nYou may find yourself using \u2018he said\u2019 and \u2018she said\u2019 a lot in your dialogue. This is fine. In fact, it is better to use these terms consistently than to vary your dialogue tags too much.\r\n\r\nIt is okay to use a descriptive term such as \u2018shouted\u2019 or \u2018whispered\u2019 now and then, but using too many can be distracting. The main thing is to ensure your readers know who is speaking at any given moment, so you can even leave dialogue tags out as long as this is clear from the context.\r\n3. Show, Don\u2019t Tell\r\nIt can be tempting to tell your readers how a character feels while they speak. Typically, this will involve using adverbs such as \u2018happily\u2019 or \u2018sadly\u2019, or even having the character say how they feel:\r\n\u2018I got the job! I\u2019m so happy!\u2019 she said.\r\n\u2018That\u2019s nice,\u2019 he replied uninterestedly.\r\nThis tells us how the characters feel. But it is usually more interesting to show the reader how they feel by describing what they are doing. For example, we could change the above to say:\r\n\u2018I got the job!\u2019 she said, grinning from ear to ear.\r\nHe looked up from his desk. \u2018That\u2019s nice,\u2019 he said, catching hey eye for a brief moment before turning straight back to his work.\r\nHere, we can still tell that she is happy and that he is uninterested. But we get this from the extra description rather than by being told directly.\r\nSummary: 3 Tips for Writing Dialogue in Fiction\r\nKeep these tips in mind when writing dialogue in a novel:\r\n\r\n \tListen to other people\u2019s conversations to get a sense of how they flow and the expressions used. This will help your dialogue sound natural.\r\n \tStick to \u2018he said\u2019 and \u2018she said\u2019 as dialogue markers. Using too many terms such as \u2018exclaimed\u2019 or \u2018whispered\u2019 can be distracting.\r\n \tDescribe what your characters are doing while they speak. Most of the time, you can use actions to show how a character feels.\r\n\r\nAnd once you have a draft of your novel written up, don\u2019t forget to have it professionally proofread before you send it to publishers.