There are just some things we are not allowed to say in real life. Sometimes we want to tell someone just what we think of them, or what the real problem they are having is, but manners dictate we can’t.
That’s the beauty of the page. Our characters can say the things we have always wanted to say. Their words will stick with our readers long after they put the book down, and cause us to like the character.
So, how do we create memorable dialogue?
*Make it natural. If you listen to some of the conversations in a coffee shop, you will find that people don’t directly reply to every thing each other says. Avoid doing that in your dialogue, or it will sound wooden.
“Do you want to catch the game tonight with the gals?” Amy said.
“Yes. I’d love to go to the game.” Sam said.
BORING! Let’s mix it up. First of all you don’t want to say yes, if you already answer the question by your comments. Save yes for the times when you just answer with one word. Then, we need to spruce it up, make it more interesting. How are these girls really going to talk. Build their personality into their words.
“Girls night out. What do you say?” Amy said.
“Rock on!” Sam said.
*Drop the speaker attributes and create meaningful action that shows personality and interaction with their surrounds. (It is especially helpful if you get more than facial expressions in the action beats.)
“Girls night out. What do you say?” Amy draped an arm around Sam’s shoulders. She popped her gum.
“Rock on!” Sam slid her hands in the pockets of her black leather jacket. “Let’s Roll.”
These are a few things you could do with this section. Try your skills with dialogue, post a revision for the following :
“Time for the homecoming game.” Dallas said.
“I want to finish my homework first.” Allen said.
(For additional tips on dialogue, check out http://www.mybooktherapy.com/category/dialogue/ )