Two Ways To Give Your Dialogue More Emotion
Dialogue can be so much richer when delivered with emotion. Problem is, it’s not that easy to convey feeling using just words on a page. Here are two things writers have effectively employed to inject emotion into their dialogue.
The way your characters act while delivering the dialogue can add a lot of emotion into the words they say. A man saying something while frantically smoking a cigarette conveys a whole different emotion than a man who does so while sitting leisurely in a cot.
The words your characters use can effective convey emotion all on their own. Word choice does have a lot to do with how people feel, after all. Look at these different ways of saying the same thing, for instance:
“What, in God’s name, are you doing here, you traitor?”
“Umm… what are you doing here?
“Oh, wow, what you doing here?”
“Good evening, sir. If you don’t mind, may I ask what you’re doing here?”
As you can see, each of those lines say the same thing, all while conveying an entirely different emotion each time. One’s angry, the other’s hesitant, another seems glad and the last sounds like a guy who couldn’t personally care less. There doesn’t need to be that big of a variance to convey a different emotion either — a couple of words and a different punctuation can change things significantly.