And speaking of dialog, today I've got a few questions for you about the exchange I wrote in yesterday's post:
The coffee chat between myself and a writer friend is exactly the kind of thing that fills my women's fiction manuscript. It's pretty raw for some readers, I know, but it's real. That said, is it so "in your face" that it would turn you off as a reader, or does the humor mitigate the "unladylike" language, (which by the way, is a big fat no-no for southern women of a certain age, myself included)?
You won't hurt my feelings, friends, so hit me with the truth. And scroll down to the green & blue recap below if you don't know what I'm talking about. Feel free to vote in the poll too! As always, I 'preciate your thoughts.
Finally, here are a few tips on crafting dialog~~
- Reading your dialog out loud helps. The ear distinguishes between what is a stilted, fake-sounding conversation and the real deal.
- Study the techniques used by favorite authors in their books. Ask yourself what works for them.
- Keep dialog tags to a minimum. When the reader can easily follow who's speaking, there's no need to add "Susan said" after every line.
- "Said" is the best tag. It allows the reader move quickly through the pages vs. getting bogged down with sentence additions such as, "...John questioned with brow furrowed." or "...she answered forcefully."
- Balance narration and dialog. Big wads of either make for bored readers.
- Limit the use of dialect in characters' conversations, unless it's so ingrained in you as to be totally real and believable.
- Giving your characters verbal tics and peculiarities is another way in which you can distinguish them from one another and add to their unique POV. [EX Characters' often repeated favorite sayings, breathless yammering, strong-silent minimalism, lots of giggling or a tendency to stutter/pause, etc.]
For more on the writing dialogue, check out this article. See ya tomorrow!