I love dialogue. That’s no secret. I enjoy trying to give each character a style or quirk to their speaking that sets them apart. Whether it’s a slang word only they use, or they don’t ever contract words, or they have a habit of ending sentences in questions or have to always have the last word. Not all quirks are obvious and for me that means I was successful.
However there is one thing I do with dialogue that is fun and very noticeable. I only do this with one character or unless they are being silly on purpose. Alliteration.
Alliteration is a style device that is the use of a repeated sound, consonant sound or first letter(With same sound) in a series of words in a row.
An example that comes to mind is Mr. Popper’s Penguins(the movie). The outlier character Pippi has a particular penchant for picking P letter words. ie: “Punctuality is a particular priority for this prospect,” She does this throughout the movie. For this character it’s almost like a behavior issue or verbal OCD. I don’t recall if it’s addressed in the movie or not or if she just babbles P words constantly. That is an extreme example exemplifying my point.
I have a character that when flustered or angry she alliterates. I usually make it silly and because it’s so contrary to her character’s normal behavior/personality the others point it out.
There are three types of alliteration, the first is just called alliteration
Paul petted Polly’s pet poodle Pom-Pom.
Tom tutted tiredly.
Karl cleaned candy off the cushions.
The second is Consonance alliteration. This is a style identified by the repetition of similar or identical consonants in neighbouring words. Their vowel sounds are often different.
Consonance words in pairs:
Blank and think
Welled and scald
hear and beer
Hipster and hatter
Hog and frog
Would Cail pull. the tail of the bull?
Callie held the rally in the alley.
The hook of the book makes it worth a look.
Writing fighting is enlightening.
The third sub form of alliteration is symmetrical. The phrase or sentence will have even number words that parallel. Like half way through the letter beginning each word mirror the first half. I think the best way to show this… is to show it. It’s most often found in poetry, rhymes and music.
Soggy carrot cake sucks
Some people walking will pace steadily.
Pretty red apples make many amazing round pies.
I’m not likely to use Symmetrical on purpose in my writing but I do find myself using consonance from time to time as I like to rhyme.
My advice about Alliteration.
Symmetrical is ingeniously suburb. When you prime and rhyme in time with a blurb. Picking particular parts perfectly like perturb.
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