Question: What are some tips for writing dialogue for a novel?

What are some tips for writing good dialogue?

  1. Listen. Hear how people really talk. Go someplace filled with people — a restaurant, mall, holiday venue, wherever — and close your eyes and listen. Don’t worry about the actual words at first (you can do that later), just get a feel for how people talk to each other.
  2. Hear the words. After you feel the rhythm of talk, listen to the words. How do people phrase questions? Statements? Suggestions?
  3. Write. Scribble (or use a recorder) and later, figure out how to do the same thing in your writing.
  4. Edit. Now for the most important part. Some writers would say the ONLY important part. Take a big, fat, red pen and cross out every single word that’s not essential to getting the point across that the speaker is trying to make.
  5. Enjoy. Look back over your dialogue and you’ll find that it flows well and easily and gets the gist of things across without boring your reader with tons of unnecessary words.

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