Category: dialogues

How to create realistic dialogues?

How to create realistic dialogues?

In the previous articles, we wrote something interesting about dialogues.

We now know what their functions are and what a subtext is. A short tip: if you lost them, you can get these fundamental points back thanks to our Dialogue Series.

But how can you create realistic dialogues?

First things first, a clarification needs to be done. There is a difference between dialogues in real life and dialogues in fiction.

Let’s see it in detail.

What are realistic dialogues?

Dialogues in fiction have to be realistic, not real.

When you read dialogue, and it sounds like a real and natural conversation, you easily understand that this is a realistic one.

Each line of dialogue must pass a piece of information, implicit or explicit. Implicit information is intuited by the reader, and it is not expressed by words. On the contrary, explicit information is clearly declared.

Taking inspiration from a spoken dialogue or a real conversation is never a good idea because this risks misleading the structure of realistic dialogues.

If you want to create realistic dialogues, you need to understand what are their opposite: real-life dialogues.

What are real-life dialogues?

Have you ever noticed a non-realistic dialogue? It may happen in novels but also movies, or plays of poor quality.

You can recognize artificial dialogues by their unrealistic nature. They seem more forced ways of speaking that make everything unrealistic, fake, and also a bit irritating.

On the other hand, in real life, dialogues have some characteristics:

  • They are full of interruptions, repetitions and digressions
  • Most of the time the goal is to pass the time
  • They are based on topics of minor importance

Starting from the first bullet point, try this simple exercise: record a dialogue between two people in your daily life and write it down. You will see that there are many pauses, of digression words that in a fiction dialogue there cannot be.

In fact, translating an oral dialogue into a written one, for a novel, makes it unbelievable and unadventurous.

Moreover, the goal of dialogue in the real-life, most of the time, is just to pass the time. We often speak to have a chat, with someone at the bar, at the bus stop, or in the queue at the supermarket checkout.

This kind of dialogue is mostly based on worthless topics as the weather, the latest news, or about seasons in general.

How to create realistic dialogues: suggestions

Now that writers know what to avoid in writing your realistic dialogues, they need to focused on punctuation.

Well, in a realistic dialogue there is the right use of commas, full stops, and suspension points.

In addition to that, alternate dialogues with descriptions. A very long dialogue without the description does not engage the reader but bores him and does not reflect the characteristics of a realistic dialogue.

Lastly, keep in mind that the information given in a dialogue is never addressed to the reader but to the character involved in the conversation. In this way, you can avoid that a character will say things that another one already knows.

Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms.

Alfred Hitchcock

bibisco helps you to create realistic dialogues

As we have seen, there are some important things to keep in mind to create realistic dialogues. In fact, a non-realistic dialogue just took from the real-life can risk spoiling the narrative, making the conversation banal and boring the reader to the point of not continuing reading.

Thanks to the innovative novel planning software of bibisco you can find the right way to create authentic, realistic dialogues and to involve your reader.

How to create realistic dialogues? bibisco's characters' section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco character’s conflict section


To create realistic dialogues one of the most important things is to understand the difference between a real-life dialogue and a realistic one which is intended to give information to the protagonists, to make the narrative interesting and lively but also to encourage the reader to read the story in one go.

3 Quick Tips About Dialogue You Should Know

3 Quick Tips About Dialogue You Should Know

In previous articles, we have already seen some useful suggestions to create realistic dialogues. You can read more in our Dialogue Series.

We wrote about what is the function of dialogue and the difference between a realistic and a real-life dialogue.

These are important points to keep in mind because they can help you in writing dialogues.

But, are there any particular suggestions about writing dialogues? The answer is yes: there are 3 quick tips about dialogue you should know.

What are the 3 Quick Tips About Dialogue You Should Know?

Actually, to create dialogue, a writer can just follow some advice because there are no rules to do that.

In fact, there are 3 quick useful tips to follow to create your effective dialogue.

  • Way of speaking consistent to the character
  • Use indirect dialogues for unimportant event
  • Enrich dialogues with details

1# Way of speaking

Let’s start from the first one: the way of speaking that has to be consistent with the character.

It is essential that a dialogue will respect the knowledge, age, education of the character.

Moreover, dialogue needs to reflect time and space. Think about a character who lives in the little town of West Virginia in 1800. We can easily imagine that this dialogue would have been entirely different from one of a boy born in New York City in 2000.

So, always try to respect the portrait of your character, even including the behavior and the social environment.

2# Indirect dialogues

A second tip could be the different use of direct and indirect dialogues.

The first one is a normal conversation between two or more people, with a call and response. On the contrary, the second one reports what is happened in a conversation without an exchange of words.

Basically, you can use direct dialogues to put the accent on some relevant event. In this way, you can create the right tension between the characters involved in the conversation, catching the reader’s attention.

On the other hand, you can reserve the indirect dialogue to describe a less relevant event or something that is not so essential. For example, you can create an indirect dialogue to write about a scene whose goal is just to enrich the narration but that it is not so significant for the purposes of the story.

3# Enrich with details

In general, details are not to be underestimated. And they have not even to be in dialogues.

Think about a dialogue interrupted by the description of characters who nervously bite their fingernails. What does this detail reveal to the reader? That these characters have something to hide, or that they know a truth not yet revealed in the story.

Besides this, details in dialogues have the role to enliven the conversation as well as the reader.

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

Peter F.Drucker

bibisco helps you to create perfect dialogues

Writing dialogues is not a simple job. A writer cannot simply be limited to create dialogues, inspiring to an everyday life conversation.

Dialogues are important as well as the plot and the narration because they risk nullifying the whole story or to annoy the reader.

With the innovative novel planning software of bibisco, you have the chance to create your narration, your characters and dialogues respecting the 3 tips of this article.

And you will also have the possibility to concentrate more on your fantasy but less on rigid rules.

Dialogue - 3 Quick Tips About Dialogue- bibisco's chapter section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s chapter section


If you are in searching of some rules to write dialogues, we regret to inform you that there are no rules to do that.

Anyway, it exists 3 useful tips you can keep in mind to create an effective dialogue that can make your narration fascinating and unique.

What is the subtext of a dialogue?

What is the subtext of a dialogue?

We go on into our Dialogue Series concentrating on a particular technique that we do not have to take for granted: the subtext of a dialogue.

It is something that appears very frequently in narration and dialogues in general. It has something to do with non-verbal language.

As with every narration technique, it also has two important functions for the story.

What is the subtext of a dialogue?

The subtext of dialogue is the meaning beneath the surface meaning. In other words, it is the meaning that is hidden behind words.

In everyday life, it often happens to interpret the real meaning of an answer. Think about a message received by a friend, an e-mail from our boss. Sometimes we need to linger a bit more on them, thinking about the real meaning of these lines. Is everything crystal clear or is there a different truth between words?

How to use subtext in a dialogue

In a narration, through dialogues, there are different ways to add a subtext.

  • Contradictions: it consists in create a contradiction in the dialogue. For example, when a character says that he is hungry, but he just ate a salad for lunch. In the first part of the sentence, it may come to our mind that he feels like eating something delicious, like a dish of pasta or a hamburger. Certainly, we do not think of a salad, healthy and not so satisfying.
  • Silence: it realizes when in a dialogue someone does not answer a question. The dialogue may end with the character looking out the window or simply with silence. Often suspension points can be used.
  • Opposite: this is when characters say the opposite of what they think. During the story, we know well their attitude, dislikes and likes, and we remain surprised when they express an entirely different idea from what we expect.
  • Gestures: also gestures are important in dialogue and, for this reason, words need to describe them well. Let’s take the example of a woman who always says that touching hair during a conversation is very impolite, but this is the first thing she usually does. Gestures, in this case, are inconsistent with a character’s words.

The 2 main functions of subtext

Subtext has two main functions in a narration.

The first one is to produce tension between characters. It is clear that when we have some elements like the ones we have explained in the previous paragraph, we can foresee that there is some embarrassment between characters.

The second function is to engage the reader and make the story more interesting. As we have already said, when we expect a particular answer or reaction from characters, we are surprised to see that they act differently.

If you know why someone is doing what they’re doing, why they’re behaving the way they are, then that’s your job to reveal that, and often that’s situational. The storytelling does that, and then some of it’s your job as an actor to make that subtext come to life.

Cate Blanchett

bibisco and itscharacter development software to add a subtext in a dialogue

Adding a subtext to dialogues is not so simple as it seems. To do this effectively, you need to know your characters very well.

The character development software can help you to know deeply your characters and realize dialogues with this useful technique.

Thanks to this, you can add tension to anything in a scene or dialogue and your reader will be more involved and surprised.

What is the subtext of a dialogue? - bibisco's main character's section
bibisco’s main character’s section


Do you have ever think about what is hidden beneath a dialogue?

Dialogue is just not composed of words but also concealed meanings: they have an important role in catching the reader’s attention.

For this reason, the subtext is an excellent technique to use in your story.

The 5 functions of dialogue in a story

The 5 functions of dialogue in a story

Every day we spent a million words. There are several reasons to talk with someone, whether it is a colleague for work, a friend or anyone else. Sometimes we just talk to pass the time and make conversation.

On the contrary, in narration, there is always a good reason to talk and add dialogues.

So, what are the 5 functions of a dialogue? In general, they have a specific dramaturgical purpose.

Let’s see them in detail.

The 5 functions of a dialogue

Mainly, there are 5 different functions of dialogue in a story. These are recapped below:

  • Show a character through their voice
  • Advance the plot
  • Provide information about time and place of the narration
  • Break the monologue of the narrator
  • Use the flashback to present memories

#1 Show a character through their voice

The first one shows a character through their conflicts, silences and also contradictions.

The reader can better know all the sides of the character’s behavior, by understanding their background, past and inner self.

#2 Advance the plot

The second function is to advance the plot. As we have already seen in our journey through the narrative techniques, the “show don’t tell” one teaches that in a story it is better to show and not to tell. This is very useful to catch the reader’s attention and to maintain it at a high level. Read the insight about the “show don’t tell” technique.

But dialogues are also significant to create the storyline because thanks to dialogue the writer can easily bring the readers inside the scene. They also can interact with the character by understanding the use of the voice, the words and the way to act.

#3 Provide information about time and place of the story

Thirdly, a dialogue can provide information and details about the time and the place of a story.

When you read a dialogue, you as a reader can notice an increase in the rhythm of the narration. A scene is always described through the eyes and emotions of a character.

Besides that, through dialogue is possible to give details about the time of the narration. Vocabulary, expressions and idioms are fundamental to this goal. For example, in 1920 people spoke differently and with different terms in paragon as today. At the same time, many particulars about the place are given through dialogue.

Thanks to the accent, words and traditions, the reader can understand a lot about the location of the story.

#4 Break the monologue of the narrator

Among these three main good reasons, there are also other motives to make use of dialogues in the story.

If you think, a narration without dialogue is just a simple monologue of the narrator. The writer tells and sees everything from their point of view, without narrative breaks of any kind.

Descriptions, reflections, actions: everything is planned by the writer, without any other force coming into play.

For this reason, a dialogue can stop the repetitiveness of a long narration.

#5 Use the flashback to present memories

Dialogue through the narrative technique of the flashback can introduce and unlocks a memory, useful to better understand the present situation.

Flashback is a particular technique that allows the reader to live the character’s past and which explains well their characteristics, fears, and experiences.

Do you want to know more about the narrative technique of flashback?

Good dialogue illuminates what people are not saying.

Robert Towne

Use the innovative software of bibisco to use the 5 functions of a dialogue

bibisco is equipped with innovative writing software which you can use to add dialogues to your narration in the right place and at a right time.

As Stephen King said, “writing dialogue is not a simple job. It is more like art because “dialogue is what characters say. It defines who they are and what they’re like.”

To write dialogue correctly, you can take advantage of bibisco that helps you write the perfect dialogue for your characters.

Dialogue - What are the functions of a dialogue- bibisco's characters' section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s characters’ section


Dialogue is not an element to take for granted. It can be a very useful component of your story to catch your reader’s eye and be very difficult to realize.

There are different reasons to add dialogue in your narration. You only have to found the right one for you!

Starting from here, from the functions, we keep writing on dialogues and their characteristics in the next articles.