It’s a skill you work on for your entire career.
Some people try make it sounds natural, “Hi Jane how are you?”
Blah blah blah
Get into the head of your characters
Read loud your scenes. –
Dropping in a little information. Give the reader a more concrete information. It’s one or two sentences, that sets the setting. A shortcut way to get information to the reader. Physical action. Motion
Not every line has to be crisp and bouncy, sometimes it’s just trying to give the reader information.
Be careful sometimes dialogue becomes a form of telling.
Don’t tell that something is going to happen then show it happening.
You can use incomplete sentences IF it serves a purpose. Good for high emotions, chase scenes.
During an emotional scene, people often talk AROUND what they want to say.
Saying it in a around about way, they don’t come right out and say stuff.
Your reader will know more then the characters. Play games with the reader.
Cut out the stuff no one will read.
Look for repletion --- cut it
Don’t repeat the same words in dialogue.
AVOID using the character’s name.
USE said or says. It becomes almost invisible. The TAG is not important, it’ the dialogue.
Dialect- Less is better
You don’t want your reader to have to translate the words. You can use it sparingly. Get the flavor without creating a new language. Be consistant. STAY WITH IT. Don’t change it or forget about it.
Just say, “She had a strong southern draw but it only came out when she was upset.” Then show it from time to time.
It doesn’t make sense for characters to talk aloud all the time.
Limit to 1 or 2 sentence. Sounds inane if its too long or forced.
1st job grab the reader’s attention.
Choose any dialogue scene in your story. Isolate it. Do you need all the tags you have? Can you remove any? Use said. What beats might you add to create a fuller scnen that guves you more info. Check your punticuation.
Self Editing for Fiction Writers--- THIS WERE THE BEST 3 CHAPTERS EVER! Everything was extremely concrete and it showed you WHY dialogue didn't work and WHY it was bad writing. The book was worth the cost for these chapters alone: Read chapters 5,7, 8.
First five page- These chapters show you really bad dialogue and it's not really was effective because you sit and think to yourself, "my writing isn't THAT bad. Clearly I don't have a problem at all."