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Blog Exercises: Blog a Conversation

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.In this ongoing series called Blog Exercises, today you will blog a conversation.

“I don’t want to.”

“Sure, you do.”

“Nah. Don’t want to.”

“This is a chance to improve your blogging.”

“Uh-huh.”

“This is a change to improve your writing skills.”

“Nope.”

“You will do it because I said so. Got it?”

“Okay.”

Writing dialog brings conflict and conversation to your blog. It could be a conversation with someone, multiple people, or an inner conversation, a debate between you and yourself.

There are many ways to incorporate dialog into your blog posts. Above is one example. Another is incorporated into the narrative.

Dialog improves the pacing of a post, adds conflict, drama, and, if presented well, can actually speak for your reader.

Here are some tips for writing dialog on your blog.

  • Punctuation Matters: The spelling cops aside, punctuation is how you add inflection. Don’t force it with italics or bold. Use question marks and exclamation points when necessary to add emphasis to dialog. The statement “I hate you” is changed from a cold hiss to an angry shout with an exclamation point.
  • Don’t Tell the Reader How the Dialog Sounded: Use of the word “said” is good enough for the most famous authors, and good enough for you. ‘”I hate you,” she said.’ That’s a strong statement. You don’t have to tell us that she shouted or shouted angrily – repetitious as shouting usually indicates anger. Show us how the person is speaking by their motions, their body language, and the words you put into their mouths. Use vocal descriptions, known as dialog tags, sparingly, like spice in a recipe.
  • Use Italics Sparingly: By using italics, you are instructing the reader how to read. Use these carefully. Italics represent air quotes and emphasis in English on the web, and too many spoil the emphasis. ‘She said, “He went that way.”‘ This example tells a story with its emphasis. “I don’t know!” This is overemphasis as the exclamation point is enough to show us how they said that word. Too many italics, it might sound like too much Valley Girl speech for most readers, like?
  • Dialog is Conflict: The best writers know that conflict must be in everything they write, fiction and non-fiction. Same applies to blogging. The more interesting a post, the more likely it is to offer conflict. Conflict is exciting. It can happen between characters in your post, between you and yourself, between you and another blogger or website, or between you and the reader. Find moments to create tension and energy between characters in the dialog. Look for disagreement, differences, debates, argument, and places to get offensive or defensive on a topic.
  • Dialog Has a Goal: Your site isn’t a place for talking heads. Make the dialog matter. Make it make your point. Make it have purpose and goals. Ask yourself if the post makes sense if the dialog is removed or does it need it to convey your message? Does it strengthen or weaken your argument or position? Does it help? If it doesn’t, get rid of it. If it does, tighten it up to ensure it makes a difference.
  • Start in the Middle: Dialog doesn’t need much storytelling to get to the point. Start in the middle and skip all the irrelevant stuff (“How are you?” “Fine.”). Put us in the middle of the conversation with just enough information through their words to let us know what is happening.
  • Let the Characters Tell the Story at Their Pace: Dialog gives you the opportunity to provide information to your readers at a different pace. It might be fast or slow, but let your characters set the rules. Hand information over slowly, with each spoken revelation. Consider even teasing the reader a little before your characters tell all. Don’t drag this out. Do let them set the pace of revelation.
  • Make Your Characters Sound Different: Nothing is more boring that two talking heads. Make sure your characters in the dialog are known and recognizable. This doesn’t mean one has to speak with a lisp or accent. Words are a part of a person’s character, the words they choose, the way they are presented and spoken. Make sure the readers know who is talking, and who is talking to whom or what.
  • Dialog has Rhythm: There is rhythm and pacing in dialog. There is also pattern. One person may talk more than the other. One may have a stronger tone, the other a softer tone. One thinks rationally, the other might not. Sentences may be long speeches or short staccato snaps. Look for repeating patterns, the vocal music of the dialog. Say it out loud to hear it, and ensure the rhythm and pattern are there.
  • Keep Dialog Concise: Long soliloquies are not usually appreciated, nor read, on a blog. That’s your job. When you choose to convey your message with dialog, keep the spoken paragraphs short, the descriptive narrative even more concise, and let the words tell the story.
  • Dialog is a Virtual Play: Act out the scene with the dialog. Say it out loud. Does it feel right? Do you know who is speaking? Which character has an ulterior motive? Which one is telling the truth as they know it? Where are they? Is this a bedroom or courtroom? Even with a few words, make the reader see and hear the action before their eyes.
  • Leave the Impression of Dialog: This isn’t a real speech or discussion. It is one that tells your story, helps to make a point, adds some spice to your blogging techniques. Don’t write it as if it is real. Give the impression of sincerity, of authenticity. The more it sounds real, the less it probably is, but the faster the reader will understand and appreciate it.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.Your blog exercise is to include dialog in your next post.

Let one or more characters make your point. Not the whole point of the post, but enough to start it out with some chatting, discussion, debate, argument, or difference.

There are many articles on the web with tutorials on writing dialog in fiction and storytelling to explore if you need more help.

Remember, we need to know:

  1. Who is speaking.
  2. The purpose of the dialog.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is an ongoing challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles. You may join us at any time, but I recommend you take a moment to visit past blog exercises to help invigorate your site.


3 Comments

  1. Posted September 7, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Wow… I’m going to be honest and sat it has never occurred to me to write on my blog with dialogue. most of my posts are like a monologue of me talking almost thinking out loud, but I never considered writing as if I were arguing with myself. Thanks for sharing!

    • Posted September 7, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      You are welcome. Changing things up from time to time keeps it fresh.

    • Posted September 13, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Still haven’t used dialogue, but I wrote a post this week and kept this advice in mind. Thanks again.


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