…Does it light up the story like an imagination on fire?
…Does it build momentum?
…Does it raise curiosity, recapturing your reader with every exchange?
…Do your characters’ personalities show in every breath?
…Does it sound the slightest bit unnatural or forced?
I would contend that dialogue is one area where writers should focus. MASSIVELY. Work on it until it until it’s your strength. Play with it until it’s your joy.
When dialogue suffers, the whole story droops. Poor dialogue dilutes the characters, slows the pace, and often, it tattles on the plot.
Or abandons it in a dark alley a few streets over.
It’s no wonder many readers jump ship at the first sign of monochrome chitchat.
In contrast, brilliant dialogue captures the reader and doesn’t let go.
You know that and you want to make it your own. To have conversations that no other writer could have written and no other characters could have had.
Stick around and I’ll show you the ropes of this strange alchemy:
- using every single line to feed the larger story,
- learning to intrigue the reader with every exchange,
- and surprising the reader in new ways.
With knowledge and practice, you’ll soon be consistently concocting your own dialogue-y brilliance, you dialoguist, you.
Put it to use: Before we get started, find an exchange you’d like to improve. We’ll be working on it throughout the article.
Let’s get brewing.
Keep reading to level up your dialogue…