Dialogue is probably the best way to make readers really get to know your characters. It also gives your writing variety and speeds up the pace (because, as with metaphors, a few words reveal so much) which keeps it more interesting.
Here are a few tips to help you make your dialogue effective:
1. Use realistic words. One reason why dialogue is so interesting and characterizing is because readers get to “hear” characters speak and instantly get an impression of what they’re like. If you don’t quote them the way they really talk, this won’t work.
If a teenager is speaking, don’t be afraid to spell words like “gonna” and “wanna.” If a drill sergeant is speaking, you may need to sw#@r.
2. Only say important things. If you can explain something faster without dialogue, then just explain it. Save the dialogue for interesting ideas and to show attitudes that characterize.
3. Describe the characters. If readers can picture them, it makes their words much easier to hear in their minds. Age is one of the most important things to reveal if it’s not already obvious. Read more “Dialogue”