Have you ever listened to the way you speak? I mean really listened. Take a moment to consider how you tell someone you had a great or heinous day. I’m betting you don’t create the sentence to match how your high school English teacher would grade such as “I had a lovely day, thank you.” We don’t talk the same language we write or read. Spoken dialog is not the same beast as the written tongue. If you want to create memorable characters and powerful scenes, it is best to keep this in mind. The dialog has to flow in the reader’s mind as if they were actually speaking the words themselves or hearing their lover, friend, or enemy say them.

Read your dialog out loud. Do you hit snags that sound awkward? Do you grimace at the prescribed word order or word choice? Change it then. Perfect grammar is for term papers and essays. In the fiction novel you need to create a believable world for the reader to enter into, and nothing stops a reader from suspending disbelief more than fine tuned dialog that comes out of a ‘How To Write’ manual.


~ by amberrosethompson on August 2, 2011.

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