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Using Dialogue in Narrative Writing


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Team Digital
Using Dialogue in Narrative Writing

Transcript Using Dialogue in Narrative Writing

Using Dialogue in Narrative Writing. Ernie is writing a story for the 'Get it Published' Contest where the winning author gets their work turned into a book. Jane is proofreading his draft and tells him that he needs to make it more interesting by adding dialogue. Dialogue is a conversation or speech that is written as part of a narrative. In narrative writing we use dialogue to help develop the story’s characters... and move the story forward in an interesting way. We can add dialogue when... there is more than one character in a scene... a character enters or leaves a scene... a character talks or thinks aloud to themselves... or to add to the action of the story. Let's read Ernie's story to see where he should add dialogue and how to punctuate it properly. Mr. Sloth was making his way up the tree to rest in his favorite spot. All of sudden, a monkey was quickly climbing up the tree behind him. In this situation, a new character is coming into the scene, so it's natural they would speak with one another. We show this interaction by adding dialogue. "What are you doing?" yelled the monkey. "I'm just existing in this tree. What's your hurry?"Mr. Sloth replied. This dialogue helps the story because it shows the monkey is impatient and Mr. Sloth is not. It also sets up the problem of the story in an interesting way. When adding dialogue, we must punctuate it properly. We punctuate dialogue by using direct quotations and speaker tags. Direct quotations show the EXACT words spoken by the character... and the speaker tag tells who is doing the talking. To punctuate dialogue that asks a question, begin the direct quote with opening quotation marks. Capitalize the first letter and... put the question mark at the end of the quote... and then put the ending quotation marks after the last spoken word. Complete the sentence with the speaker tag and a period. Remember to begin a new line or paragraph each time a new or different character speaks. The monkey began to poke Mr. Sloth with his tail, trying to get him to move out of the way. Here, we can add to the action by creating dialogue that shows us what the monkey is thinking. You need to move out of my way the monkey snapped. I need to get to the top! Here, the monkey is saying both lines so we punctuate the sentence like this. We put opening and closing quotations around the first part with the speaker tag in the middle and another set of quotation marks around the next statement he said. Mr. Sloth waved his arm as he began to move out of the monkey's way. We can learn more about Mr. Sloth's character and the story's events if we add dialogue here. He responded, "Monkey, my friend, you're in such a hurry to get to the top, you're not enjoying the journey there." Here, we started the dialogue with the speaker tag, and the direct quote came after. These are separated by a COMMA. Monkey looked at Mr. Sloth and realized he was correct. In the comments, write the dialogue of what you think Monkey said. Remember to use proper punctuation and a speaker tag. While Ernie submits his story for the contest, let's review. Remember... Dialogue is a conversation or speech that is written as part of a narrative. In narrative writing, we use dialogue to help develop the story’s characters and move the story forward. We punctuate dialogue by using direct quotations and speaker tags. Dialogue can be at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence. Ernie won the contest and his book, "Live Fast, Live Slow!" is a huge success! Looks like the book signing will have to continue tomorrow.