Shouts and Whispers
modulating volume in dialogue
Recently, I was worried a relationship between two characters was too static, so I decided to pick a small fight between them, simply by raising and lowering their respective voices. Having one person speak very quietly while the other shouted energized the relationship and the scene.
High emotions and secrets, whether minor or deeply held, are the stuff of which drama is built. When writing dialogue, be choosy — make sure you don't dwell on inessential, dispensable, boring conversations — and go for a variety in volume levels. Make sure that some dialogue scenes have the heightened drama of shouts and whispers. Finally, you don't have to use verbs such as whisper or shout to convey the volume of speech. Try doing it through diction or punctuation.
Write — or rewrite — a scene of dialogue that includes shouting, whispering or both.
Thanks for reading The Engines of Narrative! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.