Hi there! I’ve been considering posting about tips and tricks for a bit since joining this forum, and I’ve decided to take a deep breath and give it a go! Hopefully you guys can find something in the post you will find useful!
I will say up front, I am by no means an expert but I have learned loads from books and the feedback of other writers over the past thirty years.
So dialogue. Some of us love it, some of us struggle with it…
Good dialogue can really make or break a story. We want our dialogue to sound natural and flow well as it disseminates information about plot or character progression (or both).
So one of my first pieces of advice for writing dialogue is simple. Read what you’ve written out loud (don’t worry about those strange looks, they’ll get over it!), and ask yourself: “Does this sound like something a person would naturally say?”
These two things can really help smooth out the flow of a conversation. If you quirk your head and your expression takes on that quizzical look, it’s possible you may want to revamp how the words are made.
The next thing I can offer about dialogue is to have action or description sprinkled between the words.
A block of dialogue can get droll just like a wall of text, so I suggest finding ways to tell how the characters are moving and reacting to one another, or give us some peek at the environment they’re sitting in.
His body jerked upright and twisted all in one graceful motion, belying his job for all too see.
“Tell me you’re not contemplating suicide off the side of this tub,” a voice cut through his hypnosis. “Not that I could blame a guy after the past ten months!”
“Lee,” he breathed, shaking his head. “No, not even, just watching the waves.”
She shook her head, making the dark bangs swing stiffly in front of her swarthy face, even as a snort worked out of her slightly flattened nose. “You were like halfway over the gunwale. Thought I was going to have to pull you back by the waistband or something.”
This can make your story and your dialogue more dynamic and accomplish multiple tasks at the same time.