This video focuses on the techniques of crafting effective dialogue in fiction writing. It emphasizes the role of dialogue in enlivening and advancing a story, explores unique ‘anti-social skills’ like eavesdropping for character development, and offers practical advice on making dialogue sound natural and engaging. The video also touches on the overuse of adverbs in dialogue, suggesting that actions often speak louder than descriptive words.

Woman shrugging
✅ AI Essay Writer ✅ AI Detector ✅ Plagchecker ✅ Paraphraser
✅ Summarizer ✅ Citation Generator

This article is a summary of a YouTube video “Three anti-social skills to improve your writing – Nadia Kalman” by TED-Ed

Key insights

  • Dialogue’s Role in Storytelling: The video highlights how dialogue is crucial in making a story engaging and moving it forward, using examples from Romeo and Juliet.
  • Anti-Social Skills for Writing: The concept of ‘anti-social skills’ like eavesdropping is introduced as a tool for writers to gather realistic dialogue snippets from everyday conversations.
  • Character Creation through Observation: The process of character creation is linked to observing real people and imagining their backstories, habits, and speech patterns.
  • Natural Dialogue Techniques: The video emphasizes the importance of natural-sounding dialogue, suggesting that writers should mimic real speech patterns, which are often informal and brief.
  • Reducing Adverb Use: It criticizes the overuse of adverbs in dialogue, arguing that actions should convey emotions more than descriptive words.

Timestamped Summary

  • 0:17-0:36: Explanation of how dialogue adds color and moves a story forward, with an example from Romeo and Juliet.
  • 0:40-0:59: Introduction to writing effective dialogue through ‘anti-social skills’.
  • 1:03-1:50: The technique of eavesdropping to gather dialogue ideas and creating characters based on real people’s conversations.
  • 1:53-2:20: The importance of understanding characters to determine how they speak.
  • 2:25-2:54: The use of muttering to oneself to test and improve dialogue authenticity.
  • 2:56-3:13: Tips on keeping dialogue short and natural, and the appropriate use of adverbs.
  • 3:17-3:30: Recap of the main points on writing fictional dialogue.


Why is dialogue important in a story?

Dialogue is crucial as it adds color, excitement, and advances the plot. It helps in character development and engages the reader by breaking the monotony of narrative descriptions.

What are ‘anti-social skills’ in the context of writing?

In writing, ‘anti-social skills’ refer to behaviors like eavesdropping or muttering to oneself. These are useful for writers to gather realistic snippets of dialogue and to test how natural their written dialogue sounds.

How can observing real people help in writing dialogue?

Observing real people allows writers to understand various speech patterns, accents, and vernaculars. This aids in creating distinct and believable characters whose dialogue reflects their backgrounds and personalities.

What makes dialogue sound natural in fiction?

Natural-sounding dialogue in fiction typically involves using simple language, informal speech, contractions, and keeping sentences short. This mimics real-life conversations, making characters relatable.

Why should writers minimize the use of adverbs in dialogue?

Overusing adverbs can make dialogue sound forced or redundant. Actions and context should convey a character’s emotions or intentions, making the dialogue more impactful and believable.


Opt out or Contact us anytime. See our Privacy Notice

Follow us on Reddit for more insights and updates.

Comments (0)

Welcome to A*Help comments!

We’re all about debate and discussion at A*Help.

We value the diverse opinions of users, so you may find points of view that you don’t agree with. And that’s cool. However, there are certain things we’re not OK with: attempts to manipulate our data in any way, for example, or the posting of discriminative, offensive, hateful, or disparaging material.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Register | Lost your password?