8 Tips For Writing Dialogue

I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow, so I thought I would reblog one of my old posts. I may or may not post during my trip. (Depends on how much fun I’m having :)) If I don’t, see you in about a week!


dialogueWriting dialogue can be tricky. I happen to enjoy it, and usually end up with dialogue-heavy first drafts. Here are a few thoughts about writing good dialogue:

1. Become an eavesdropper:  I lived for many years in New York City, and one of the great things about it is New Yorkers talk in public as if they are in a totally private space. I live in Miami now and it’s not quite the same, though for some reason it’s close to the New York experience when people talk on cell phones. On the bus one day I heard a guy talk to a friend about a messy custody battle he was engaged in. He did not spare any details.

Don’t eavesdrop just to be nosy (though that is a side-benefit–you’ll get story ideas). Learn to analyze the way people express themselves. Try to come to conclusions about the people speaking…

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