A Life Worth Telling – Tip 4

How dialogue reveals a person’s or character’s personality in a novel.

I mentioned on today’s show (July 8) that dialogue allows the reader to listen in or invade a character’s conversation thus revealing to the reader something about the character. Personality is uncovered about the character through his or her words. From dialogue we as the reader can form our own opinions about the how the character shows emotions, their strength, their weakness and many other factors associated with the character.

For instance, the professional example I used came from the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker in which a shy Maggie is concerned about what her mother thinks about her looks. Maggie says, “How do I look, Mama?” Through Maggie’s dialogue she needs her mother’s approval. The unnamed narrator who is called Mama reveals through narrative that Maggie shows “just enough of her thin body enveloped in pink shirt and red blouse for me to know she’s there, almost hidden by the door.” Through the mother’s narration and Maggie’s dialogue this shows that she is in need of her mother’s approval before she exits the door.

We need dialogue in our works of fiction in order to make the works more exciting because we get to hear the voice of the characters. That is why dialogue is soooo important when writing fiction.

Tags: , , , ,