Dialogue in fiction

Dialogue is a conversation between two people.

Jill: How are you Jack?

Jack: I'm good, Jill and you?

Jill: Not good Jack. Not good at all.

Dialogue in fiction should be indirect.

Dialogue often has to do two or three things at once.

  • It has to reveal facts. (This is called exposition) but also...
  • It has to reveal or at least be consistent with character.
  • It has to move the story forward (often 1. does this)

Here's some dialogue from Iron Man 3.

The character is revealing some facts. He does not say:

I’m no longer working for you, Mr President. Now I’m working with the Vice President and he’s the one who’s given the order to have you killed.

Instead he says.

I found myself a new political sponsor. And this time tomorrow he’ll have your job.

This isn't the greatest dialogue ever, but it is typical of the genre, and was no doubt written by a professional.