Whether fiction or non-fiction, books with strong dialog are more interesting and engaging to the reader. Dialog is a fantastic and necessary device to move a story and reveal character. As a writer, you are probably accustomed to using your internal VISION to describe a scene, event, or make a point. You see it in your mind and describe what you SEE. Dialog must be handled differently. Dialog is primarily a task for your AUDITORY processing. You must hear it internally and write what you HEAR. Most people process information visually, so this may be a significant shift for you.
Whether you are recalling an actual conversation or devising one from your imagination, you can try these practices to refine your 'ear' for dialog and add richness to your writing.
1) Eavesdrop: Next time you are sitting at a coffee shop, waiting in line, or dining solo at a restaurant, prick up your ears and listen in on nearby conversations. For this exercise to be most effective, take notes and try to record exactly what is said. Of course, be subtle.
2) Take notes while you are talking on the phone: Again, try to write down exactly what the other person says. I got a lot of practice at this when I was a journalist. You will start to notice subtleties in the way people speak; that we don't all sound alike, even if we are saying basically the same thing.
3) Know your 'characters': The better you 'know' your characters, the easier it will be to write outstanding dialog. For non-fiction, this is fairly easy. You are writing about real people, and, in most cases, you can talk to them and get a feel for who they are. In fiction, this is more of a challenge, but I promise you, the more deeply you 'know' your characters, the better your overall story will be.
4) Get inside the speaker: When you sit down to write dialog, get inside the speaker's skin. Do your best to 'become' that person while you are writing their part. What matters to them? What does it FEEL like to BE them? Move back and forth between speakers as the 'conversation' evolves.
5) Go for realism: People typically don't talk the same way they write. They utter incomplete thoughts, they hesitate; they interrupt. Dialog is affected by region, social standing, self-esteem, education, emotion, agenda, and the relationship between the characters. For a dialog to sound authentic, you must account for these idiosyncrasies and variables.
By Robin Hoffman | Submitted On January 01, 2010
Robin Hoffman, MA, The Author Alchemist, is a publishing strategist, book editor and writer's coach who helps aspiring authors transform their dreams into reality. Find out more at http://www.robin-hoffman.com Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Robin_Hoffman/465096