Clarity is an essential component of any good story. In dialogue, clarity means making sure audiences know who is speaking. The most common method is to identify the speaker by name, typically by using a tag such as “(name) said”. But it’s also important to make sure a character’s voice is consistent.
Medium to High Complexity
Medium to High Importance
Debates are a little more intense, a little more conflict driven. Where a focused conversation has at least one invested character, debates have at least two, each with their own position. Debates are, in many ways, a median between focused discussion and argument. A focused discussion may transition into debate on the way to becoming an argument, just as an argument may downgrade to a debate or even a focused discussion.
Conversations take many forms, but they generally hinge on 3 variables: complexity, intensity, and importance/value.
Information management is a cornerstone of any good story. Authors dole out information in precise increments. This helps audiences to absorb the information gradually, preventing them from becoming overwhelmed. It also allows the author to control how audiences perceive the story at any given moment. Revealing new information often prompts audiences to rethink earlier scenes, encouraging their engagement with the story.
Stories are driven by conflict, and dialogue is no different. When writing a piece of dialogue, recognize what conflicts exist, and what their underlying cause(s) are. For example, here are 4 common source of conflict in dialogue: