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Dialogue: Bad writing and character

Welcome back to The Writing Apothecary and our last lesson on dialogue. 

I’d like to think that we all agree on how good dialogue is and what its purpose can be. You can use dialogue to make a story more lifelike and really it’s the part that allows your characters to speak for themselves. In real life, you can’t really get to know someone unless you talk to them and it’s the same principle for fiction. Your readers will decide if they like your character just by what they say and then they will make the assumption of whether or not they want to actually spend time with them. 

The main points in today’s lesson:

  • We all speak differently
  • Character’s dialogue needs to be unique so they can stand on their own.
  • Look at ways to give your characters different distinctions when it comes to their speech.
  • Look at the way subtext works for your characters too.
  • We are great at talking but we always have trouble communicating and why should our novels be any different? 
  • Capitalising on miscommunication is a huge strength in fiction because it makes it more true to life. 
  • When character seem like a puppet and that they’re just things and creations of us writers, and they are, but to the reader they need to be life like.
  • Bad dialogue also can expose your writerly voice into the piece, when a reader can see the mechanisms behind the writing and the entire illusion of a story is lost. 
  • You can’t use words that are out of character for your own character. 
  • Use profanity and swear words sparingly as they will jolt the reader out of the story.
  • Whew and that’s it, dialogue is done. Tell me what you think about dialogue, I’d love to know what you classify as good and bad dialogue.

Tell me what did you take away from this week’s lesson?

I’d love to know.

Also, I would really appreciate it if you took the time to rate and review the podcast it helps people find our community and gets the podcast out into the world a little more.

If you’re looking for a cheerleader for your writing, then head on over to and let’s have a chat about how we can work together to get your writing on track. 

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