Last Updated on January 13, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD
Writing military dialogue can be tricky, but with a few tips and tricks, it can be easier than you think. In this article, we’ll discuss ten valuable tips for writing military dialogues that will help you bring your characters to life. From developing their personalities to getting them to speak the way you want them to, these tips will help you write military dialogue that is both accurate and believable. So get ready to step into your characters’ shoes and explore their world – with military dialogue!
10 Valuable Tips on How to Write Military Dialogues
The attempt to make sense of (or even see the irrationality of) violent conflict has been a priority in both fiction and memoir writing. Some readers may be sensitive about graphic depictions of battle and violence, while others may find it challenging to comprehend what is occurring if you do not go into depth when writing about the battle.
Military officers and soldiers refer to a story or a piece of writing as a war story. The word “war” cannot be used alone in the story because it is considered an insult, mainly when applied to military narratives. It can also create confusion between fiction and non-fiction pieces. Writing combat scenes that are precise and successful is easier than you think.
#1 Consider using a panoramic lens
Show us a broad perspective of the conflict to convey the enormity of a battle. Allow your reader to observe what is occurring by pausing your narrator for a brief period.
The reader is the most essential part of the plot. The reader must be fooled into thinking that what they are reading is real, or else the excitement and fun will turn off. In fantasy settings, it’s necessary to keep the reader guessing what is happening and why certain decisions were made by your main character(s). This can take some time but should always be done in a way that doesn’t feel forced or unrealistic. Different readers have different tastes. Remember, however, that emotional engagement isn’t always required with “epic.” Large fights can become impersonal and cause “action exhaustion” if they are not appropriately managed.
#2 Consider including certain violent elements
When a graphic, explicit scene is overdone or unnecessary, it may become offensive. Of course, you may be aiming for “offensive” to convey a message about your topic, but detailed violence must have a meaning. Being aware of and understanding why you make your decisions is critical.
Real-life instances of how to employ modern military technology are available. A villain in Bruce Willis’ film “Sixth Day,” for example, uses a real-life weapon system in the U.S.’s Special Forces known as the M9 pistol and its 7-millimeter ammo cartridge (shown above). In Russian literature, there is a famous novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called The Red Wheelbarrow.
#3 Use correct grammar and complete sentences
The ear will detect a false tone in a dialogue of whole phrases. Grammar, too, tends to take a backseat. In ordinary conversation, a person using whom/whom correctly reveals a lot about themselves. To conserve the number of words needed to convey information, many people resort to shortcuts. For instance, phrases like “I’m running late” often degenerate into “Running late,” and so on. Listen to how people speak and use it to learn more about your characters by becoming a student of how they talk.
#4 Use templates to create dialogues
Stories that are imaginative, engaging, and interesting can be created by A.I. content generators such as Jasper. It might also give you fresh writing project ideas. With the flick of a finger, you may construct stories, conversations, essays, and even poetry.
Random characters (superheroes, villains, princesses, and other things), settings, items, and other elements may also be generated for your next tale. Check out this Creative Story template to further fuel your inspiration!
#5 Focus on the details
Pay attention to the small details of everyday life when writing about World War I trenches or the Zygine Galaxy’s Time-Space Wars. The scent of coffee and a campfire is sometimes more emotionally evocative than that of a lit cannon fuse, which is less well-known. Some may laugh while others are outraged. If you need to make a choice about your character’s behavior that might or might not conform to violent stereotypes, make sure you do so with care.
#6 Know your characters well!
To discover components that will make all your characters human, relatable, and honest, even the villains, no matter who you’re writing about: dig deep inside your capacity for empathy. Comprehending your opponent’s choices will add complexity and passion to your work, even if you don’t respect them.
In real life, every military branch (EAF, NAVY) has its official code of conduct.
Military dialogue is like a code. In the military, the air force means fighter jets, marines are soldiers in the army, and the navy is about naval force. There are other household words used as well: air force (military air force), navy (navy forces), etc., but they all mean something different from one another. Military writing should be authentic to its genre, which varies widely depending on what side of the fence you’re on–a criminal justice novel will have many more police or FBI references than a science fiction or military novel.
The following are six general templates to help you create authentic dialogue:
- Basic Conversation
- Task-oriented Conversation
- Argumentative Dialogue
- Revealing Confession Dialogues
- Psycho Narratives
- Emotional Conversations
#7 Avoid cliches
Recognize elements in a story that leads to situations that are excessively repeated in every genre. The simple solution might be to revert to cliches. If you find yourself writing a familiar combat scenario (one soldier dragging another to safety or one individual dying in another’s arms), be sure to mix things up with your own angle.
The slang and colloquialisms used by military personnel sometimes baffle the civilian reader; however, many resources are available to help a veteran writer. The most common slang words may be fully explained in the directories as well.
#8 Get only the correct facts!
Check (and recheck!) your facts before you write historical fiction or memoir. Make sure that your information is correct. You may create a narrative that feels genuine and powerful, even if you’re creating military fiction, by spending the extra time and researching it.
#9 Write twice
Decide on the beats you want to hit in your conversations and get your scenes down. Insert some placeholder lines as you go through the remainder of the script. You’ll have a fully developed experience with the characters by the time you’ve completed your first draft and are ready to start the second, allowing you to revisit your dialogue, trim, rewrite, and add subtext.
#10 Be clear to the point!
Being brief is a good thing when it comes to writing. Concision is a strategy that aids you in standing out from the surrounding clutter regarding material and communication. The fewer words we can use to convey information (less chance of misunderstanding or confusion), the better.
In a nutshell, writing military dialogue is not that hard. All you need to do is follow the tips in this article and write engaging dialogues for your readers. You’ll be an expert in no time if you put in the effort.
We have also added some more tips on how to avoid common mistakes while writing such scenes into the postscript section at the end of this article because they can ruin any storyboard if disregarded.
1 – Are there any resources for writing military dialogue in fiction?
Yes, you may get help writing military dialogue in fiction from a variety of sources. Some of the most popular include The Military Writer’s Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Combat Scenes and realistic War Stories, The Art of War for Writers: How to Capture the Drama and Emotion of combat from Ancient Times to Today, Warrior Words: Creative Ideas for Storytelling about Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Marines Living by their Code®, and Soldier on Point II: Techniques For Tactical Fiction Authors.
Each book offers advice based on the specific genre or style you wish to explore. However, all books emphasize accuracy in research and keeping your writing style authentic. Additionally, be sure not to forget the importance of tension and suspense when writing scenes featuring conflict or violence. Putting these elements together carefully and following simple tips for scene construction, you can produce an engaging novel with military dialogue that is both accurate and enjoyable to read!
How can I improve my writing skills regarding military talk?
Becoming better at writing military dialogue can be an enriching experience. Not only will you be able to write convincing and engaging scenes, but you will also learn how to structure and edit your prose effectively. Here are four ways that may assist you:
1) Be familiar with the different types of dialogue. There are dialogues between characters in a scene, dialogues between characters and the environment, dialogues between main characters, etc. So that you may utilize them when required, familiarize yourself with each kind.
2) Practice makes perfect! Start by writing simple conversations or Scenes without any military elements involved and gradually increase the difficulty level until you feel comfortable using more complex dialogue techniques.
3) Use specific diction to convey authenticity and realism When creating military speech patterns or dialects, use words that reflect what people in those environments would say (eccentricity is often used for comedic effect). For example, if someone spoke gibberish instead of standard English during a frantic situation, this might be appropriate for inclusion in their speech pattern/dialectic}. Make sure that whatever language is being used accurately reflects what would happen in such an instance!
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