st: dialogue

Crush Prompt
  • C: You're staring again.
  • A: What?
  • C: B. You're practically drooling.
  • A: *wipes* No, I'm not, shut up, you're insane!
  • C: Yeah, you're right, what would you ever see in B?
  • A: WHAT?! B is amazing!!! Funny, beautiful, smart-
  • C: ...
  • A: ...
  • C: *snigger*
  • A: I can't believe I fell for that.

“'Let’s get something to eat, man, I’m starved,’ Rachel said.

‘Anything but McDonald’s,’ Tobias said.

'What, the mouse hunter is getting picky about burgers?’ Marco said.

'No, that’s not it.’

Prince Jake raised an eyebrow. 'Tobias? Is there something you need to tell me?’

Tobias shrugged. 'Well, you know, I saw Yeerk reinforcements pouring into the Community Center so I knew you guys were in trouble, right?’

'Right. So you went for Gonrod.’

'Exactly. I asked him if we could burn through into the Yeerk pool. He said, “Maybe, but only at the thinnest point.” Anyway, late as it was, even the night cleanup crew was gone…’

'No,’ Prince Jake said. 'You didn’t. You did not obliterate a McDonald’s.’

'Like it was never there,’ Tobias said with a laugh. 'The Yeerks will fill the hole before anyone realizes what’s down there underneath the ground, but if we want burgers, I’m thinking Burger King.'”

- Book #38: The Arrival (Ax), pg. 147 (by K.A. Applegate)

100 Dialogue #3 (Part 2)

51-100:

51. “Sometimes I think you’re only friends with me because of my dog.”

52. “Ew–reading? Save that for the nerds, nerd.”

53. “Would it kill you to eat something besides junk food?”

54. “So, uh, don’t get mad … I think I may be lost.”

55. “Cool tattoo–does it mean anything?”

56. “Do you promise to stay with me?”

57. “Time is nothing but a societal concept, my dude. Shit’s wack.”

58. “Who’s to say any of this is even real? For all we know we could just be the figment of someone’s imagination.”

59. “I think I just saw an . . . alien.”

60. “Can we please just stop pretending we hate each other for a second?”

61. “No amount of time spent with you will ever be enough.”

62. “You’re not allowed to be jealous! It’s not like we’re together–we never even were.”

63. “Why do you smell like weed?”

64. “Man–that thing really got you good, didn’t it? Does it hurt?”

65. “Here, let me. You can barely move–don’t bother trying.”

66. “Do you need help? Your hands look a little … busy.”

67. “Oh–shit! . . . I may or may not have just ripped my pants. Please help.”

68. “What’s so great about him, anyway, huh? What can he do that I can’t?”

69. “I know you’re out there. Why are you doing this to us?”

70. “I don’t know how it’s possible to love someone this much. It actually hurts.”

71. “Easy there, tiger! You might hurt yourself.”

72. “The next time I see you, you’re as good as dead.”

73. “Walk away now or else you’ll never walk again.”

74. “I wasn’t that bad, was I?”

75. “So what if you’re carrying a little extra? There’s just more of you to love, princess.”

76. “You really think I care about him? Hah! That’s hilarious.”

77. “God–it was just a date, alright? I didn’t even like them that much, anyway.”

78. “Look at what you did to yourself! Are you happy, now?”

79. “We get it–you’re edgy. Take it down a notch, eh?”

80. “Take a chill pill, your majesty.”

81. “Dammit, now that song’s stuck in my head.”

82. “Do we really need to fight, right now? I don’t have the energy.”

83. “How do I know you’re telling the truth? You could be trying to trick me, for all I know.”

84. “Wouldn’t it be nice to just, like, have a day off from all this crazy?”

85. “See you in Hell, bitch.”

86. “Till next time, gentlemen! It’s been a pleasure, I’m sure.”

87. “You act all tough but you’re not. I know you’re not.”

88. “I’m never moving again.”

89. “Can I marry my bed? I love my bed.”

90. “You seriously need a shower, dude.”

91. “What’re you doing here? Not that I’m not glad to see you! Just, uh–I thought you were leaving town.”

92. “Shut up and get in, already.”

93. “I am not obsessed! I’m just … very, very interested.”

94. “Boy, I can smell the crazy coming off of you from a mile away.”

95. “Whoops–sorry, wrong room!”

96. “You did that on purpose, didn’t you? Jerk!”

97. “When you talk about me you make it sound like I’m some kind of saint. You should know better than anyone I’m anything but.”

98. “So … that’s it? I imagined there’d be much more … fire.”

99. “Whatever–what would you know? You’re just drunk and spouting nonsense.”

100. “Sometimes I wish I could meet you all over again. Knowing what I do now, I wouldn’t waste my time trying so hard to push you away.”

Negative Speaking Tones Pt.2

Hopeless - without hope; despairing

Horrific - provoking horror; horrible

Hysterical - very scared

Impersonal - not personal; lacking emotion or warmth

Incensed - to inflame with wrath; make angry; enrage

Indignant/Indignation - angry because something is not fair or is considered offensive

Irreverent - disrespectful

Irritated - annoyed

Jittery - extremely tense and nervous; jumpy

Judgmental - judging others; critical

Lackadaisical - lazy

Lofty - arrogant

Lugubrious - mournful or gloomy in an exaggerated manner

Malevolent - mean; angry; purposely hateful

Malicious - purposely hurtful; very mean

Melancholy - sad

Mocking - scornful; ridiculing; making fun of someone

Morose - gloomy or sullenly ill-humored; moody; sour; glum

Negative - unhappy; pessimistic

Nervous - worried; uneasy; anxious

Patronizing - looking down on others; acting superior

Perplexed - confused; puzzled

Pessimistic - seeing the bad side of things

Pitiful - pathetic; exhibiting suffering and misery

Regret - feeling bad about the past

Remorseful - very sad; sorrowful; regretful

Resentful - feeling displeasure or anger at some act, remark or person

Rude - not polite

Sarcastic - sneering; saying the opposite of what you mean as a way of being unfriendly or making a point

Sardonic - scornful; very sarcastic

Satirical - making fun of something to show its weakness or to teach a lesson

Scornful - open contempt or disdain for something

Sharp - sly; clever in an underhand way; harsh

Serious - not funny; not joking

Snobbish - acting as though one is better than everyone else; egocentric 

Solemn - sad or quiet reflection

Solitude - loneliness

Somber - gloomy; depressing; dismal

Stiff - formal, serious

Stubborn - refusing to give in

Tearful - sad; causing tears

Tense - nervous; emotionally or mentally straining

Threatening - menacing

Tragic - very sad

Upset - distressed; agitated; disturb mentally or emotionally

Urgent - insistent; saying something must be done soon

Vexed - annoyed; confused

Vindictive - revengeful; wanting to get back at someone

Woeful - dreadful; sorrowful; miserable

How to Write Successful Dialogue

@albino-troll-ninja asked:

Got any feedback/advice/links for someone who wants to make lengthy, relatively action-less dialogues between characters more than just “‘Loren ipsum,’ he said.” “'Ipsum lorem’, she replied.” for forty paragraphs?

No problem!  I love dialogue, so I’m happy to be of assistance in this department.  

Here are my personal rules of thumb:

1.  Allow the dialogue to show the character’s personality.

If you really think about your conversations, it can be telling exactly how much of someone’s personality can shine through when they speak.  

Allow your character’s persona, values, and disposition to spill over when they speak, and it will make for a significantly more interesting read for you and your reader. 

For example:  let’s take a look at a mundane exchange, and see how it can be spruced up by injecting it with a good dose of personality.

Exhibit A)

“How was your day, by the way?”  asked Oscar, pouring himself a drink.

“Not too bad,” replied Byron.  “Cloudy, but warm.  Not too many people.”

“That’s nice.”   

Exhibit B) 

“How was your day, by the way?” asked Oscar, pouring himself a drink. 

“Ugh.  Not too bad,” groaned Byron, draping himself on the couch.  “Warm, but dreary.  Gray clouds as far as the eye could see.  Not anyone worth mentioning out this time of year.”  A pause.  “Well, except me, of course.”

“Hmmph,” said Oscar, glancing over his shoulder.  “If it were me, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Isn’t that better?  Already, the audience will feel as though they’ve gotten to know these characters. 

This works for longer dialogue, too:  allow the character’s personal beliefs, life philosophy, and generally disposition to dictate how they talk, and your readers will thank you.

Of course, this example is also good for giving the reader a general sense of what the characters’ relationship is like.  Which brings me to my next point:

2.  Allow the dialogue to show the character’s relationship. 

Everyone is a slightly different person depending on who they’re around.  Dynamic is an important thing to master, and when you nail it between two characters, sparks can fly.

Work out which character assumes more of the Straight Man role, and which is quicker to go for lowbrow humor.  Think of who’s the more analytical of the two and who’s the more impulse driven.  Who would be the “bad cop” if the situation called for it.  

Then, allow for this to show in your dialogue, and it will immediately become infinitely more entertaining.

Example:  

“Alright,” said Fogg, examining the map before him.  “Thus far, we’ve worked out how we’re going to get in through the ventilation system, and meet up in the office above the volt.  Then, we’re cleared to start drilling.”

Passepartout grinned.  “That’s what she said.” 

“Oh, for the love of God – REALLY, Jean.  Really!?  We are PLANNING a goddamn bank robbery!”

Some more questions about dynamic to ask yourself before writing dialogue: 

  • Who is more likely to talk and who is more likely to listen? 
  • Who would talk with their mouth full of food and who would politely wait to swallow?
  • Is their relationship fraternal/sororal?  If so, who would be the “little sibling?”
  • Is one of them a bit of a mother/father figure to the other? 
  • Who more frequently gets irritated with who?
  • Who has the more understated sense of humor?  Who’s a bit more juvenile?
  • Who’s better educated?  Does it show when they speak?
  • Who’s a bit more pretentious/full of themselves?
  • Who interrupts more?
  • Who swears more?

This can also be a valuable tool to cluing your reader in on who the characters are as people: 

3.  Think about what this dialogue can tell the reader.

It’s better to fill the reader in more gradually than to waist your valuable first chapter on needless exposition, and dialogue is a great way to do it.  

Think about what your characters are saying, and think about ways in which you can “sneak in” details about their past, their families, and where they came from into the discussion.  

For example, you could say:

Tuckerfield was a happy-go-lucky Southern guy with domineering parents,

and bore everyone to death.  

Or you could have him say: 

“Sheesh.  All this sneakin’ around in the woods late at night reminds me of being back in Kansas.  Good times, man, good times.”  There was a pause, before he added,  “‘Course, it wasn’t nearly so fun when I came home late for curfew and had to sleep on the front step, but y’know.  Life happens.”

Isn’t that much better than the omnipresent monotone?

Dialogue is also a great way to fill in potential plot holes early on, by having your characters talk them out and explain them. 

Moreover, dialogue can also be used to foreshadow, offer relevant hints about the climax, or provide information necessary for the resolution.  

So use it wisely!  

4.  Sprinkle in mini-actions throughout. 

Even in actionless dialogue, no one actually does nothing.  In my case, for example, I stim a lot.  I play with my hair.  I play with eating utensils.  It’s probably very annoying for those around me, but you get the point.

Less fidget-y folks might not do this as much, but they rarely sit totally still during conversations, either.  So occasionally add in these mini-actions, and it will make your characters feel a bit less like disembodied voices or floating heads.

For instance:  

Jo leaned back in her chair rolling her stiff neck from sitting still for so long.  “…So the way I see it,” she continued.  “Even if Pheris Beuller’s Day Off didn’t take place in Cameron’s imagination, Pheris was clearly a sociopath whose behavior shouldn’t be glamorized.”

“Ha.  As if.”  Avery paused to sip her root beer.  “Pheris,” she began, raising an index finger.  “Was clearly emblematic of counterculturist movements such as the Beat Generation, and his disregard for the capitalistic dogmas imposed upon younger generations is something to be admired.” 

“For Christ’s sake, will you two lighten up?”  scoffed Leo, counting out bills for the pizza.  “We were talking about which movie we wanted to watch tonight.  Jesus.”

5.  Remember how people actually speak.

In real life conversations, people don’t speak in paragraphs.  Alright, some people might, and this can actually be interesting as the personality aspect of a certain type of character.  

But generally speaking, people don’t speak in paragraphs, or as though they’re writing thought-out prose or letters.

In real conversations, people stutter.  They laugh at their own jokes, repeat words or phrases, and lose their train of thought.

Naturally, you don’t have to illustrate in your writing exactly how chaotic and mundane human speech can be, as writing would be pretty boring in general if it was strictly limited to miming reality.  But it’s good to keep in mind that your characters are talking, not writing in purple prose.

Exhibit A: 

“When I was a young boy, my mother and I had a most tumultuous relationship,” said Marcus.  “She saw me as a hallmark of her past failures, and took every opportunity to remind me as such.”     

Exhibit B:

“My mom, when I was kid, we had what you’d call a sort of tumultuous relationship,” said Marcus.  “Nothing I ever did was right for her.  She, uh – I think she saw me as sort of a hallmark of her past failures.  Took every opportunity to remind me of that.”    

Which of these is more organic, more easy to visualize, and more telling of character?  Unless the point of this dialogue is to illustrate that Marcus is a gentleman crook of some kind with pristine speaking mannerisms, I’m going to say the latter. 


Best of luck, I hope this helps, and happy writing!  <3

Prompt Batch #7

Theme: Happiness

(Requested by @thesupernaturaldead )

(I know you requested 100 Prompts of Happiness but I was struggling so I had to make it into a prompt batch; I hope you don’t mind! I’m sorry!)


1. “I love my life–I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

2. “What’s so wrong with being happy? Just because your life sucks doesn’t mean everyone else has to be all sad with you, too.”

3. “You make me so happy.”

4. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy … And honestly, that says a lot.”

5. “I’ve never felt more alive.”

6. “Don’t be such a downer, dude–this is cause to be celebrating!”

7. “I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.”

8. “You know, I always try to keep my spirits high, but whenever you notice me being happy it’s like you purposely sabotage it.”

9. “All I ever wanted was to be happy, and I finally am. I don’t know why I still feel so unfulfilled, though.”

10. “I’m so happy for you! This is great!”

11. “We need to throw a big party! Really go all out–we accomplished something impossible today, after all!”

12. “Whenever you’re around it just puts me in a good mood.”

13. “Weed just makes me happy, dude.”

14. “I don’t think it’s possible to be any happier than this.”

15. “I didn’t even know being this happy was possible. Man, I’ve been missing out!”

16. “I’m okay with just being content. It’s more than I could ever ask for.”

17. “A person like me doesn’t deserve this kind of happiness.”

18. “Well, if you’re happy, I’m happy.”

19. “Why wouldn’t you be happy? You have everything you’ve ever wanted and more!”

20. “Now that he’s gone … I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy again.”

Write a story including a set of three things

1) The phrase “I came to help”, a blanket, a disgruntled cat 

2) An optimist, ink stains, secrets 

3) A fortune teller, a spy, a conspiracy 

4) A book, a dress, a knife 

5) The sewer system of a major city, a mathematical equation, flowers 

6) A failed scientist, a 3rd grader, a billionaire 

7) The color red, a broken promise, an unwelcome guest 

8) A scarf, brown eyes, black and white 

9) Photographs, a dance, an abandoned engagement ring 

10) A dead phone, a map, a bowl of cereal 

Favorite Uprising Interactions

Most of them are from Tracer, more to come as I continue to play the Uprising Mode. You apparently get different interactions the more games in a row you win, which is a great incentive to keep playing it! I’m writing these out as I hear them, so a word or two might be incorrect, but the meaning of the interactions is pretty much unchanged.

Tracer: “Didja’ get it workin’ yet, Torbjorn?”

Torbjorn: “I just need a moment.”

Tracer: “That’s what you said last time!”

Torbjorn: “I needed a longer moment!”


Reinhardt: “Excellent work, Tracer!”

Tracer: “Just following your lead, sir!”

Reinhardt: “I knew I liked you, rookie!”


Mercy: “Stay quiet, let’s try not to draw any unwanted attention.”

Reinhardt: “COME OUT YOU BASTARDS, I’LL FIGHT THE LOT OF YOU!”


Tracer: “Come on, Lena, you can do this.”

Reinhardt: “We believe in you, Tracer!”


Mercy: “Torbjorn, what was that sound?”

Torbjorn: “Seems like we’ve run into another little snag.”

Mercy: “Define little snag.”

Torbjorn: “Forget about it! It needs a little more time, just defend the payload! It’ll work, trust me!”


Reinhardt: “See? Nothing to be worried about.”

Tracer: “Who said I was worried?”

Reinhardt: “You forgot to tie your shoes.”

Tracer: “Oh! Wait, my shoes don’t have laces…”


Tracer: “Got that payload working yet, Torbjorn?”

Torbjorn: “Maybe I should just blow us all up right now.”


Torbjorn: “Not another word, rookie.”

Tracer: “I didn’t say anything!”

Torbjorn: “Let’s keep it that way.”


Torbjorn: “So what does this Null Sector want, anyway?”

Mercy: “Omnic Rights, or so they claim.”

Torbjorn: “I can’t help but feel like they’re going about this the wrong way.”


Torbjorn: “It’s firing up!”

Tracer: “Should we be standing this close?”

Reinhardt: “Maybe behind my shield!”

Torbjorn: “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”


Tracer: “You really think that’s going to work?”

Torbjorn: “I built it, of course it’s going to work!”

Mercy: “Inspires confidence, doesn’t he?”

Negative Speaking Tones

Accusatory - blaming other people

Agitated - emotionally distured; perturbed

Angry - mad

Anxious - worried or excited; uneasy and eager

Apologetic - sorry

Apprehensive - uneasy or fearful about something that might happen

Arrogant - too proud

Beguiling - deceptive; cheating

Bitter - angry or hateful

Bored/Boring - not interested

Callous - insensitive

Childish - befitting a child; the undesirable and unpleasant characteristics of a child

Cold - lacking in passion, emotion; not affectionate or friendly

Concerned - worried or interested 

Condescending - looking down on other people; feelings superior

Contemptuous - feeling disgrace; disrespectful; scornful

Critical - finding fault

Cruel - mean; hurtful

Cynical - questioning the truth or sincerity; skeptical

Defensive - defending; protective

Defiant - going against authority

Depressed - unhappy; sad

Desolate - solitary; lonely; dreary; dismal

Desperate - frantic; without many options

Despondent - profound hopelessness, discouragement, or gloom

Detached - disinterested; unbiased; not involved or concerned

Diplomatic - trying not to offend people

Disappointed - discouraged; unhappy because something went wrong

Disdainful - scornful; insulting

Dissatisfied - unhappy; not satisfied

Egotistical - thinking only about himself; self-centered

Envious - jealous

Fearful - afraid

Fretful - worried, annoyed or discontent

Frustrated - angry because of not being able to do something

Gloomy - dark; sad; depressed

Hateful - hating something or someone; angry hate

Haughty - proud; vain; arrogant

Some Reyes squadmate lines I wrote down

So the previous post had me remembering some lines I wrote in an AU where Reyes is your squadmate (if Liara can be shadowbroker on the Normandy, then Reyes can be the Charlatan on the Tempest. Case closed!).

Nomad Banter:

Jaal: Reyes Vidal.

Reyes: ???? That is my name, yes.

Jaal: Is it? I can never tell with you.


Cora: Reyes

Reyes: Yes?

Cora: I looked up your dossier on the Nexus.

Reyes: Find anything interesting?

Cora: No. The file was corrupted.

Reyes: Shame! You could’ve learned so many things…


Reyes: Jaal. I get this feeling you don’t like me?

Jaal: And here I thought I wasn’t being obvious enough.


Liam: So Reyes, I’ve been practicing my moves.

Reyes: And?

Liam: Ready for round two?

Reyes: [laughs darkly] 

Ryder: What’s going on?

Reyes: Liam thinks he can beat me in my own game.

Liam: Football [soccer] isn’t your game.

Reyes: Against you it is.

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