Successful dialogue isn’t just about your characters chewing the proverbial fat. Successful dialogue does two very important things:

Reveals character: Your character is what he/she says. Or doesn’t say. Good dialogue lets your reader in on the inside workings of your character. The way your character speaks will tell your reader about his/her background—where has your character lived? Where does your character live now? What kinds of things have influenced your character’s development? What does your character want?

Moves along the plot: Are we there yet? Successful dialogue helps advance your plot. Your characters shouldn’t just speak to take up space in your manuscript. The things they say should help move your plot along and/or reveal specific plot points. Plot development is hard work. Let your characters help you with it.

Eavesdropping 101

One of the best ways to learn the way people speak, the things they speak about, is by eavesdropping. No matter where I am, I am always listening in on other people’s conversations. That’s right—I admit it. But I’m not just being nosy, I’m developing my craft (hee hee.)

While eavesdropping can sometimes lead to neck strain (and dirty looks,) it can also lead to wonderful snippets of dialogue. Which makes it all worthwhile.

Posted in: Advice