Adding Emotion to Dialogue with Word Choice

You can show the emotion underlying dialogue by carefully picking the words to be spoken. Examine these alternatives:

  • “Mr. Ohrbach? What a surprise. I didn't know you were coming.”

  • “Mr. Ohrbach, you came! And I thought you'd forgotten.”

  • “Is that you, Mr. Ohrbach? Did you … I mean, are you sure you want to be here?”

  • “Mr. Ohrbach? Who the hell invited you?”

  • “Why, Mr. Ohrbach. So you decided to grace us with your presence.”

  • The dialogue in each of these examples conveys information as well as emotion and attitude. Sometimes, the right punctuation and words are all you need.

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