Dialogue writing can be a very useful tool in writing as illustrated in several captivating children's books. Encouraging children to notice dialogues in the books they read and ponder over the role of dialogue in a story, would help making dialogue writing a more meaningful experience. Dialogue writing' needn't be reduced to a stand alone exercise as a part of the exam paper.
Fly in the book Tiger Heart, is a little girl who is a chimney sweep. (A concept that was widely prevalent in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries.) Fly wanting to run away away from her cruel employer falls down a chimney and finds herself in a tiger's cage. What follows is a memorable interaction between a human being and a tiger, a dialogue that is well paced with adequate narration in between, that helps the reader to get drawn into the story. The author skillfully uses dialogues to carry the story forward. One can easily imagine the tone and get a glimpse of each character's personality based on how they speak. Had this story been told completely in a narrative mode, it wouldn't have the same charm it has now. The credit goes to the very interesting conversations that happen between Fly and the Tiger. It is the dialogue that acts as a hook in the story and compels the reader to read on to find out what happens next.
The power of dialogue in giving the reader a vivid flashback of the character's story.
In the book, Tiger Heart, the story of how the tiger was mistaken to be a man eater and lands in a cage is told through a dialogue. It speaks volumes of how the tiger feels about the whole mistaken notion and how he feels trapped in there for no mistake of his. The reader is bound to feel the need to reach out to the tiger's character and feel sorry for his state. This again would not have been the resulting impact had the story been told in indirect speech. Dialogue helps bring to the forefront the power of emotions.
Dialogues help you as a reader to be in the present, feel the story better.
An excellent example of dialogue in helping the reader to emote with the characters is of course the universally loved Winnie The Pooh. Winnie The Pooh's stories are filled with dialogues that make you want to pause, look at the characters speaking, emote with them, enjoy the friendship and the thoughts that they share. The dialogue is so powerful that it forces you to be in the present.
Choice of dialogues could change the direction of the story
Henry Cole, the author of the book, Homer On The Case, uses dialogues to build tension and suspense in an absolutely gripping story featuring a homer pigeon. The police are investigating bizarre robberies but are unable to find clues. Homer the pigeon and his friends are key eye witnesses in the case. Homer tries to tell his owner, Otto. But Otto does not understand. How can Homer and his friends help the police to solve the case is the crux of the book.
The dialogues in the book are predominantly between the birds as they join hands together to solve the case. The author chooses not to introduce dialogue between the humans and the birds thus making the birds, in particular Homer as the main character in the book. Had he chosen to show the birds communicating in human language with ease, the book would have taken a completely different direction. Instead he chooses to show the birds trying different ways to alert the humans. They get frustrated but eventually they figure out a way.
The author chooses not to introduce dialogue between the humans and the birds thus making the birds, in particular Homer as the main character in the book. Had he chosen to introduce dialogues between humans and the birds, the book would have taken a completely different direction.
Dialogues can help reveal character personalities, emotions, motivate characters to take action, enable the story to move forward, perhaps even expose a secret if you are willing to pay attention. As a writing tool, dialogues have an incredibly important role to play. Encouraging students to observe this tool in practice and try using it in their own writing can help them immensely in their writing journeys.
As a writing tool, dialogues have an incredibly important role to play. Encouraging students to observe this tool in practice and try using it in their own writing can help them immensely in their writing journeys.
Dialogues pave the way for fun to group reading sessions
Enthusiastic readers at the Young Readers' Club often love changing their tones and expressions while reading aloud dialogue for different characters. In doing so, they make a quick assessment of the characters' personalities and then try adopting suitable voices while reading each character's dialogue. These efforts help in bringing the story to life especially when it is being read in a group.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 12-14 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
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