Ready for a deep, dark secret of writing in comics? It’s actually pretty simple, although not many of you do it enough or well. (Am I casting aspersions on your writing ability? Possibly. But you’ll get over it.) Here it is:
Emoting. I’m talking about putting emotion in your character's dialogue. Do you know what it's about? It's about punctuation.
It's all about punctuation. Seriously.
Let's look at a two word sentence. "Oh no".
Now, that's incorrect, of course. Here it is again, still incorrect.
What we're going to do is add punctuation to this in order to make it correct. The first thing we're going to do is add the necessary comma. If you don't know why, learn. (Small aside: a lot of new writers don’t know how to correctly use the comma. You can help yourself and your editor by learning how to use punctuation, starting with the comma. Aside over.)
So, it's still incorrect, but it's more correct than it was. What we have to do now is put in the ending punctuation. That ending punctuation will tell the reader a lot about the emotional state of your character. That’s what dialogue is all about.
Technically, that's correct. I can see that being said in conjunction with something else. It's a bit bored, but as a short sentence, it also has a small feeling of being rushed. I can get behind this in some cases.
Again, that's correct. The trailing off sound that the ellipsis provides gives the feeling of dread.
Again, correct. This could give the feeling of dismay, disappointment, surprise, and a host of other emotions.
The ending punctuation for your dialogue is going to give your characters life. I've seen too many "dead" characters because the characters aren't emoting.
Which sounds better?
Oh, no. He's coming at me with an ax.
Oh, no! He's coming at me with an ax!
Emoting in dialogue. It’s important. Make sure your characters do it.