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The 7 Ds Of Narrative Writing In Primary Schools (vi) Using Dialogues

(How to) Use Dialogues?

Dialogue, also known as direct speech is a powerful tool in writing as it enhances the flavour, adds personality, encourages thinking, creates suspense and can turn a dull piece of work into a great reading piece. It can also give details to the characters’ personalities and emotions. Beginners would need to learn the skills of punctuation and grammatical conventions before using direct speeches in writing. However overusing dialogues can overload the reader and distract how thethe story should develop as unnecessary information only adds to the word count.

Besides using ‘said’, ‘asked’ or ‘answered’ in forming direct speeches, you can build up a bank of ‘said’ words for use in your writing. These are :

argued yelled commented requested demanded
muttered shouted protested exclaimed squealed
mumbled whispered replied stammered

To write effectively using direct speech, one needs to imagine the way in which the characters would talk. Some expressions would be short and ‘loud’ like “Oh No!” or “What is going on?”. Other forms of direct speech may hint at revealing how the story would develop in the next paragraph; “If you do that, you are putting everyone in mortal danger!” or “What are we going to tell mother when she comes home?”

But remember to put in the correct punctuation marks like commas, exclamation and question marks, full-stops, opening and closing speech marks at the right places.

Further Reading:
(ii) Describe the Scene
(iii) Describing People (Characters)
(iv)Describing Action(s)
(v)Dscribing Feelings (Emotions)
(vii)Be Different (Beginning & Ending)
(viii)Detecting Errors (Nothing Is Perfect)

Mr. James Chow (Nov 2013)
English Tutor
Kent Ridge Tutors @ Jurong

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