Narrative Writing: Dialogue

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12313

Do you ever talk to yourself? That's fine, but do you answer yourself back? That's fine, too, but conversation between two people is more interesting. Learn to make your characters talk to the reader!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


“What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know. What do you want to do?”

Writing about a personal experience is one form of narrative writing.

The best narrative writing makes an experience come alive for the reader. It can be something funny that happened to you or a story about a favorite person or place.

In this lesson, you will write a story from the first person point of view, meaning you will be telling the story about yourself using the words "I," "me," "my," or "mine." You want your verbs to show action and your adjectives to be descriptive.

If you missed or wish to review the previous Related Lessons in this Narrative Writing series, find them in the right-hand sidebar.

When you tell your story, you can add dialogue to make your story more interesting. Dialogue refers to words characters speak to each other in a story.

Using dialogue:

  • shows something about a speaker’s personality.
  • adds details.
  • keeps the action moving.

Think about what the people in your story said to each other. Make your dialogue sound real.

Take out a piece of paper and pencil. As you watch Dialogue Rules from Kverzi, write down reasons why and how you use dialogue, and what a speech tag is in dialogue:


Discuss the following questions with your parent or teacher:

Why do you use dialogue in narrative writing?

  1. It is used to move your story forward.
  2. It is also used so that your reader can get to know the characters in your story better.

How do you use dialogue in narrative writing?

  1. You must put quotation marks around the words that are spoken by the character. For example: Mary said, I want to go shopping with you!
  2. A direct quote must begin with a capital letter.
  3. When you write dialogue, the end punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. For example: Joe said, “Hurry, I want to get an ice cream cone!
  4. Do not put a period at the end of a quotation; use a comma, unless it is the end of the sentence. For example of not-the-end-of-a-sentence: “I will go with you,” said Bill. The-end-of-the-sentence example: Bill said, “I will go with you.
  5. Begin a new paragraph when a new person or character begins to speak. For example:
    “I want to go home,” said Jill.
    Mother said, “Alright, go and get in the car.”
    “Thanks, Mom,” said Jill.

Remember, quotation marks go before the first word a character speaks and after the last word the character speaks. Use a comma to separate the speaker tag from the quote.

Continue to the Got It? section, where you will practice punctuating dialogue.

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