. . . read on to see how to incorporate dialogue into your scrapbook page journaling.

by Debbie Hodge

Much of the journaling we do on our scrapbook pages takes the form of “narrative.” Narrative is when you recount what happened from your point of view. Once in a while, though, consider putting your story onto the stage with a bit of “scene.” One of the easiest ways to do this is with dialogue. Whether it’s an entire conversation recounted or a couple of lines worked into your narrative, there are times that dialogue delivers a lot of punch.

Take a one-liner.

When your subject says something that really hits you, grab that tidbit and let it be the focus of your page, including it in the journaling and maybe even the title. This page came out of a conversation I had with my 5-year-old niece who recently told me she “needs a challenge in her life.”

Journaling: Dear Hannah, one of the first things you said to me during our last visit was that pre-K and kindergarten had been boring. “I need a challenge in my life,” you sighed as you fell backward onto the sofa. Hannah, I love your strong sense of self, the confidence that shows even in your walk, and --something you don’t even know you have--your charisma. Keep it up, girl! Love, Aunt Debbie


Record an actual conversation.

This isn’t always easy, and you may have to fill in a little. My son told me the following one night before he fell asleep and I immediately wrote it down as closely as I could. I scrapped it as the focus of the page because it reveals a lot about his character to those of us who know him.

Journaling: Isaac said, “What should I be when I grow up? And before I answered, he said, “If I think hard enough, I can find a reason not to do everything.” - No spaceman--I might get stuck in space. - No golfer--I don’t like competition. - No professional football player--I might break my neck. - No pilot--I’d be away too long. - No professor--it would be too boring. - No dentist--I hate the dentist. - No businessman-I don’t know what that is. Glassblower is the only possible thing for me to do.


Make up dialogue.

Come up with dialogue that’s true to the spirit of the conversation for a humorous accompaniment to some photos. In “Inferred Beach Conversation” I don’t know what my husband and son were saying to each other, but I can see the progression of what was going on and I know their personalities. My son cracks up laughing every time he reads this layout — and is immensely pleased with how clever he is in this journaling.

Journaing: Hey, Dad. My fingers are sandy. You want me to feed you? Yeah! And I could use a hat. Here, take mine. Great. Thanks, Dad. You’re welcome, Son.