How to use Dialogue

By Jordan Eddy

What is Dialogue?

  • Dialogue is a conversation between two or more people.

How to use Dialogue

Rule #1- A new speaker makes a new line.

Example- "I wish I could run fast like Bolt," Evan said out of breath.

"Why don't you go train with him? Danielle snapped back.


Rule #2- Even a small thing like using wrong quotation marks can reflect poorly on the story.

Example- "You wouldn't believe how mad he got at me," Woody said. "He said,'Go back where you're from!'"


Rule #3- Break the dialogue into 2 parts.

Example- "I can't believe I failed the test," John said. "I studied hard, but somehow I choked and left half of the test blank."


Rule #4- Avoid flashy dialogue tags.

Example- "You broke my heart!" she said.

"It's not my fault!" He said.

"But you cheated on me."

"I'm sorry! It just happened."


Rule #5- Use action to show who is speaking

Example- Briana stood up. "I love you John." She reached out to him longingly.

CITATION- http://litreactor.com/columns/talk-it-out-how-to-punctuate-dialogue-in-your-prose

How to Punctuate Dialogue #1

Ethan said, "Come over tomorrow."


-comma before opening quotation mark, capital letter to indicate beginning sentence, and closing period and quotation marks.

How to Punctuate Dialogue #2

"Come over tomorrow," Ethan said.


-capital letter to indicate beginning sentence, a comma at the end of the quotation to indicate the dialogue tag, and dialogue tag to end with period to begin next sentence.

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How to Punctuate Dialogue #3

"Come over tomorrow," Ethan said. "Have a good day."


-capital letters to indicate beginning of quotation and sentence, comma at the end of the first quotation to go into the dialogue tag, a period at the end of the dialogue tag to indicate the first quotation is over, the second quotation to be on the same line as the first if the person said it also, and quotation and period marks in the second quotation.

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How to Punctuate Dialogue #4

"Come over tomorrow. Have a good day," Ethan said.


-capital words to begin sentences and dialogue tag, a period to end first sentence in quotation, a comma after the second sentence to enter the dialogue tag, and a period at the end to indicate both sentences were in the quotation.