Archive for May 16th, 2012

May 16 2012

Please Avoid Having Characters Repeat Each Other

Published by under Dialogue,Scene-Building

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Character 1: “Bob and I are going to Vancouver for the summer.”

Character 2: “Vancouver?”


Character 2 comes across as sort of mentally slow, right? Unless you’re trying to make characters sound slow (or totally disoriented), I would recommend against having them just repeat each other.


Whenever a character says something, it should develop a character and/or advance the plot (e.g. conflicts, goals/motivations, major decisions, etc).  For example, you can use questions to bring in new details rather than just repeating something that has already been introduced.


Here are some more interesting responses to “Bob and I are going to Vancouver for the summer.”

  • “Where’d you get the money for that?”
  • “What about your job?”
  • “But there are Canadians there. You don’t even own a gun!” (This character isn’t much smarter than in the original, but is definitely more memorable).
  • “Isn’t Bob convinced the airlines are trying to kill him? How are you getting there?”
  • “Did that Canadian put you up to this?”



21 responses so far