Wow! I appreciate the response guys. Because so many new users have joined, I have a little gift for you all! One of the biggest challenges I face is writing dialogue. The way I write and the way I speak are two distinct and very different patterns. And as I usually write historical or fantasy set the past, I have the added challenge of trying to write more formalized dialogue without losing readers due to boredom.
My best advice for this is to study the books that you love. Read over the dialogue scenes that feel most feel to you; the ones that are authentic and have unique and strong voices. Study the books that are like the ones you want to write. You want to write a hard hitting thriller – check out Stuart Woods; learn how his characters talk. You want historical fiction – no one beats Margaret George and Allison Ware. And once you’ve written your scene, remember, it’s always going to be a mess the first time around. That’s when you are telling yourself the story. Edit, smooth it out, read it out loud, and find your character’s voice. It will come.
This link will take you to a fabulous website called Lit Reactor and an article by Robbie Blair about common problems in dialogue.
If you want more information, there are lots of books out there with advice on tackling dialogue. One of my favorites is on Amazon.
You can buy it at Amazon, just $3.99 for the Kindle edition. Keep reading and keep writing. And let me know what you would like to see featured here!