I’ve been told I write good dialogue. This might have gone to my head. I think I need a bit of humble pie, which I’m sure Karma will provide any day now in the form of a scathing review.
Still, I follow some rules for writing dialogue.
The first thing I did is tape a conversation and read it. I thought it’d be realistic and awesome…The reality was a bit of a shock. Real-Life conversations are awful. We repeat ourselves, we go in circles, we go off topic…it makes for frustrating and very boring reading.
What works for me is to try and keep the ‘flavour’ of the character who’s talking. Joe doesn’t say: hello. He says: Hey, chickie, what’s shaking? It also helps me to add humour. I’ll give a snobbish character a coughing fit while they’re trying to maintain their dignity or I’ll create a character who loves to be heard and then deny them that wish.
But, here is what works for the Greats: