Dialogue. I know how hard it can be to create meaningful yet believable dialogue. But how to do it?
Try listening to everyday conversations. Really try to understand how people communicate with each other in real life. Also, pick up a book and look at how the author wrote his or her dialogue. Did they have a little bit of dialogue or a lot? Was their dialogue believable? Did their dialogue move the story along?
When writing dialogue, not every conversation needs to officially end. It is perfectly okay to end a chapter at a climatic sentence. It will cause your reader to feel the need to read the next chapter and will create more suspense.
Example: “What did you find out?” Henry demands.
Jeb inhales a deep breath before replying. “I know who your real father is.” (End chapter)
Make sure that your dialogue moves the story forward. Try not to put unnecessary conversations in your novel. It will just break the flow of your story and cause your readers to be uninterested.
Not every answer in dialogue needs to have actual words. Sometimes a simple nod or shake of the head will suffice. Other times, silence will carry more emotion then an actual answer. Let’s say a character has just professed his love to his girlfriend. Maybe make the girlfriend lean over and kiss him. It makes for more drama. Why didn’t she say that she loves him? Does she feel the same way? How will he react? This will also allow you to create another emotional moment where she will finally say “I love you” back.
Try to make your character’s speech unique. A four year old will talk differently from a teenager and a teenager will speak differently than a forty year old. If everyone sounds the same, it will bore your readers and take away from any personality that you have already given each character.
Hope this helps. Questions and comments below.