How to…

…write dialogue in which two speakers speak simultaneously?

I’ve got two characters whom I want to say contradictory things in the same instance.

A little example:

Hafr asks “What’s this about?”

To which Hrothgar will say, “Nothing!”, while Dagmar exclaims, “I will volunteer!” (Or something to that effect. I can’t tell you what her actual words will be, because that would be a kind of spoiler.)

The problem is, I’m not sure how to write this. Is there a correct way to do this?

Published by Jessica Urquhart

First off, who am I? My name is Jessica Urquhart. Writing has always been a hobby of mine, which got its start in middle and highschool, when I'd write short stories for the amusement of my friends and classmates. Currently, I'm working on my first book, my one true love of a story I've been saying I would one day write. Well, that day has come. If you'd care to follow my musings on the adventures and hurdles of writing my first fantasy book, then please, read my blog.

7 thoughts on “How to…

    1. This is what I tried for now: One line: “Nothing!” “I will volunteer!” exclaims Hrothgar and Dagmar simultaneously.
      This is probably the wrong way to do it, but I can’t recall an incidence like this in a book for a comparison.

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  1. I think you are on the right track. You want the reader to know the characters are talking over each other so you can give clues in several possible ways. Try reading it out loud to yourself and you’ll hear if it is awkward or smooth sailing. As an example, “What is that? Exclaimed Hrothgar. “A doom-a-flotchie!” Dagmar yelled at the same instant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lmao! A doom-a-flotchie?! *giggles* Good idea, thanks. Would you put the dialogue on the same line in your example? Or follow the usual rule of a new line for separate dialogue?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Use separate lines if that is your current technique. In some formats dialogs are contained in a relevant paragraph as I wrote it but it would be confusing if your format was normally separate lines.

        Liked by 1 person

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