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Writing a Dialogue: What is most important?

This is a Ron Paul Curriculum Assignment.

When writing a book, what is the most important thing in a dialogue that your story will be presenting? Let alone a book made up of an assortment of dialogues. Is the most important thing accuracy? Is it succinctness? Or liveliness? Why?

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Lets start with accuracy. Accuracy is not that important in a dialogue. A dialogue in a story or biography is meant to go into the mind of the people and reveal them to the reader; not tell us exactly what they said. What about succinctness? Yes, definitely! People are probably not going to read an enormous dialogue between two characters; they are probably going to scan over it. So, you should keep it short and simple. And, lastly, liveliness. Should dialogues be lively? Dialogues should be gripping, but they shouldn’t always be light and fluffy, and they shouldn’t be dull and dense either. Keep a good balance between the two.

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