Everything You Need to Know About Writing Great Dialogue

13 Mar 2017 | Dialogue

I’ve written a fair amount about dialogue over the past few years … partly because I love writing dialogue! And I figured it was about time I collated those posts in one place.

Whether you enjoy dialogue too (and want to make yours even better) or whether it’s something you struggle with, these posts will help you.

Seven Simple Tips for Writing Great Dialogue

If you’re fairly new to writing fiction, or if you’ve had feedback suggesting your dialogue skills need a brush-up, check out this post. I go through seven straightforward (but crucial) tips for getting it right, giving you an example for each one.


Stylised Talk: Writing Great Dialogue [With Examples]

Here, the focus is on examples that show how accomplished authors write quite different types of dialogue – all of which can be very successful. I also offer some more advanced dialogue-writing tips, and warn you what to steer clear of when attempting these.


What Are Dialogue Tags and Dialogue Beats? (And Why You Should Use “Said” Frequently)

This post explains what dialogue tags and dialogue beats are, and gives lots of examples of how to use them well. I also unpack why “said” is a great option for dialogue tags, as alternatives will tend to distract from your actual dialogue.


When Dialogue Gets Weird: Representing Unorthodox Forms of Speech on the Page

Much of the time, dialogue in your novel will be quite straightforward: one character talking to another (or a group of others). Sometimes, though, you’ll have a more unusual form of dialogue to represent. This post offers options for how you can handle situations ranging from phone calls to texts, emails and psychic speech.


Is it OK to Use Swear Words in Your Writing?

One tricky dialogue situation is when you’ve got characters who, realistically, need to swear (usually because of the type of person they are and the type of situation they find themselves in). Some readers dislike salty language, especially in certain genres. This post offers some thoughts on swearing in fiction and how you can handle it skilfully (even in more conservative genres).

Good luck with your dialogue!


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I’m Ali Luke, and I live in Leeds in the UK with my husband and two children.

Aliventures is where I help you master the art, craft and business of writing.

My Novels

My contemporary fantasy trilogy is available from Amazon. The books follow on from one another, so read Lycopolis first.

You can buy them all from Amazon, or read them FREE in Kindle Unlimited.


  1. Richard Carter

    We need to remember we’re writers … even though we’ve been often delayed! Sometimes our fault (mine usually) and a life of tragedies, laziness, illness, and why do I feel such a need to do and don’t when I find it wonderful! Even with run-on sentences! LOL I started writing very young but the Nuns often took exceptions — I couldn’t accept things … when they failed logic … there was too many “what-ifs” for them and that was one of my first roadblocks. I had to make sense to them … I learned I didn’t have to make sense to perhaps at least one other than me — after all who do I think I am … I loved your post and putting so many wonderfully useful tools in one place!!! YAY Thanks and hoping you all (4) are well and especially healthy!!! Rick

    • Ali

      Thanks Rick! All well here, ta; hope the same for you?

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