Elizabeth Bowen's 7 Tips For Writing Dialogue

Elizabeth Bowen’s 7 Tips For Writing Dialogue


Writers Write is a resource for writers. This list is made up of Elizabeth Bowen’s 7 tips for writing dialogue.

Elizabeth Bowen (born 7 June 1899, died 22 February 1973) was an Irish- British novelist and short story writer, notable for some of the best fiction about life in wartime London.

She was known for exploring uneasy and unfulfilling relationships among the upper-middle class. The Death of the Heart was one of her most highly praised novels.

During World War II, Bowen worked for the Ministry of Information in London and served as an air raid warden. Her novel set in wartime London, The Heat of the Day, is among her most significant works.

Here are her seven tips for writing dialogue.

Elizabeth Bowen’s 7 Tips For Writing Dialogue

  1. Dialogue should be brief.
  2. It should add to the reader’s present knowledge.
  3. It should eliminate the routine exchanges of ordinary conversation.
  4. It should convey a sense of spontaneity but eliminate the repetitiveness of real talk.
  5. It should keep the story moving forward.
  6. It should be revelatory of the speaker’s character, both directly and indirectly.
  7. It should show the relationships among people.

by Elizabeth Bowen via Advice To Writers

Source for screenshot

For more dialogue advice, read:

  1. 10 Dialogue Errors To Avoid At All Costs
  2. 10 Ways to Introduce Conflict in Dialogue
  3. How To Write Great Dialogue

 by Amanda Patterson

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