5 tips on writing dialogue


Dialogue is usually the only part of the script that makes it to the final comic book. So how do you make it count?

Here are 5 ways to write better dialogue:

Tip No. 1: Ask yourself why.

Why is your character speaking? What is his motivation, the will behind his words. Maybe he wants to show off how much he knows, maybe he wants to insult the other, impress, convince or distract. Maybe he just wants to be left alone. Whatever the will may be, it will affect how the character speaks.

Tip No. 2: Keep it short.

Long, elobarate speeches is for Shakespeare and Bond villains.

Tip No. 3: Let questions go unanswered!

When conversations go “question – answer – question – answer” it feels like treading water. Especially mundane questions like “How was your day?” or “Wonder WHO the killer is?” deserve no answer. Try letting the other character answer with a question – their OWN project, their own will. Like “Did you feed the cat?” or “Where’s my coffee cup?”. Skip the banalities, create conflict instead.

Tip No. 4: The dialogue of the character should reveal character.

The professor and the boxer should NOT sound the same! But for effect, you might twist the klichés once in a while and have the barbarian warrior speak like a philosopher.

Tip No. 5: Variation and rythm.

Remember to vary the length, the tone and the purpose of the word ballons. Just like the panels should have variations in them, the dialogue should keep the readers on their toes, be changing organically. Not the same three-sentence structure in every ballon.

Hope these tips where helpful! If you haven’t already, be sure to join our newsletter and get more free content and tips on how to write and draw comics.