Hello, My Writing Colleague,
Dialogue can be challenging because, as writers, we know we need to explain stuff through dialogue. The best way to learn how to write natural and convincing dialogue is to watch TV.
Yep, those writers are pros at dialogue. They have to fit everything in a time frame so, the dialogue is whittled down to the essentials.
Assignment Option 1: Dramatic conversations–Turn on any soap opera for drama and plot twist conversations and record them so you can copy the conversation down on paper. Then, analyze it, pick it apart, and try to emulate it with your characters. Make a note of the accompanying body language as well.
Assignment Option 2: Per genre conversations, i.e., technical sci-fi or historical romance–Turn on whatever genre you need and copy those conversations to learn until you grasp how the story progresses through the vital conversations of the characters.
Bonus Assignment: You can also copy the dialogue from your favorite writers until it sinks in and you can mirror the technique.
Or, you can record your conversations. Listen for the natural flow and jot down the body language.
With practice, you’ll be writing convincing, natural dialogue in no time.
Dialogue has to sound natural so, always ask yourself, “would they really say that?” Also, keep in mind the emotion you are trying to convey (this is where watching conversations happen on TV will help).
Remember that dialogue moves the story along in a way that no other element can, therefore, it is the lead in or stepping stone for your reader to find out information that brings on the next scene, chapter, idea, foreshadow, etc.
For children’s story writers: watch the cartoons and shows your age group watches and record the conversations and mannerisms.
As always, feel free to comment and share this post.
Go. Eavesdrop 🙂