Creating a YA Novel? Here are the Rules in Writing Good Dialogue for Teens

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Coming Up With Snazzy Dialogue to Enthrall YA Readers


Creating a YA Novel? Here are the Rules in Writing Good Dialogue for Teens
Figure 1 | Image source: The Creative Penn

For many authors, writing good dialogue is essential, especially when catering to specific audiences such as teens and young adults. Lines in a YA novel are typically easy to understand, based on the target demographic, and there are different ways to write dialogue in novels catered to a young adult audience. May it either be in the usual prose or in a script format, it’s essential to take note on how to write a conversation.

Here are some ways to come up with enthralling dialogue.

  1. Tone down on the exposition

    Exposition should mostly be in the narrative and doing too much in the dialogue can make your writing unrealistic and dragging. You’ll surely bore them out, especially teens and young adults who just want the plot to progress. Too much exposition in conversations just bogs down the story’s pacing and your narrative will suffer as a result.

    Substitute expositions with good dialogue tags in dialogue writing. Focus on the essential instead of furthering the plot through character conversations. That way, your work will be more readable.

  2. Base conversations on everyday talk


    Figure 2 | Image source: Wikipedia (The Banner Saga)

    If you’re making realistic characters with realistic backgrounds, you should look into everyday conversations, especially among age groups or demographics you’re basing your characters on. In general, it wouldn’t be fitting for young ones to talk about post-war memories or for old ones to be excited over the latest trends while talking in contemporary slangs.

    As such, being able to capture a well-rounded conversational tone allows the readers to relate with the characters on a personal level.

  3. Show the relationship between characters


    Figure 3 | Image source: Blogger

    You may have created backstories for each character, but how would they relate with each other? How does one talk to the other and what forms tensions between two or more characters? They’re not simply plot devices used to convey a message. They should be able to embody the essence of what it is to relate to others on a personal level—just like real human beings.

    If you haven’t created proper backgrounds for each character, make sure you do so. No one wants to read about cookie-cutter or one-dimensional characters.

  4. Read the dialogue out loud

    Unsure if what you’ve written sounds organic enough to pass as real conversation? Then try reading it aloud! It’s a fool-proof technique. It’s guaranteed to make you see the changes you need to make to your output.

    As you read your writing aloud, it’s also helpful if you put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Act out your characters and relate to them. After all, it’s jarring to read on characters you barely care about.

  5. Expect nothing

    The author Ernest Hemingway once said that to write, you just need to open your typewriter and bleed. This means that you pour your heart out when writing [tweet this]. Whenever you have a hard time, just go on writing. Never mind what the dialogue sounds like as you’re doing it. You’ve already outlined your story anyway, with your readership in mind and with conversations in your head.

Writing good dialogue is indeed a skill you need to master, but it isn’t that hard to do so. Basing dialogue on everyday experiences will allow you to make use of all your encounters, conversations, and dealings to create dialogues that work.

In any case, if you’re still torn, you can find various resources online on how to write good dialogue in the story.


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