Creating good dialogue is important in fiction work. Many times it is what carries the story or it is how clues and history are revealed. Dialogue has to be good when used by authors. So, how do you create good dialogue? Read a lot!
What You Find When You Read
Reading is learning. No matter what you are reading, your brain is soaking in all types of different information. It could be news, history, technical information, or…For a writer it could be learning how to write good dialogue.
As you read, you are exposed to the many different styles of dialogue. You’ll find dialogue that is written in colloquial words. You’ll find slang, romantic words, and drama galore. Every kind of dialogue exists out there for you to explore. You have to read them.
You’ll learn from those with more experience — the masters.
Learn from the Masters
How do the great ones write dialogue? You won’t know until you read them. You have to be exposed to it to actually know how.
One of the greatest things I’ve learned about dialogue from reading great writers is how to make it flow amid the narration. There is an art to it that should flow seamlessly as you read. To learn how, I went to the books that I loved and that I knew had great dialogue.
When I say masters, I mean the authors who have hit the bestseller listings and won awards. The newer authors haven’t got the experience. Yes, there are some good ones out there, but they are learning just like you are. Look to the experienced ones in this.
Watch the Genres
If you are going to write mainly in the fantasy genre, read those books for your dialogue learning experience. Every genre has a unique style, even in dialogue.
Read how Tolkien wrote his character’s words. Read other great fantasy writers and see what they have in common. Try to imitate them. But be careful. You don’t want to write like them. You want to be yourself, but staying true to the genre.
Most fantasy novels will not have character who talk like a Valley Girl. Yes, they might, but most readers won’t feel comfortable reading dilaogue that doesn’t match the genre. Historical fiction works shouldn’t have characters who talk in modern day slang. Yes, some authors can pull it off, but most will not be able to.
You always want to write like you. Don’t be other authors. Readers will pick up on this and typically don’t like it. They want to read your unique writing sytle.
Yes, I know this sounds hard or contradicting itself. Yet it is possible. Learn what works for the other writers. Then tweak it. Bring your unique personality into it. Maybe you have a sarcastic sense of humor. Who says a fantasy character can’t have that? They can.
Reading Never Hurt Anyone
Despite what my son might say, reading never hurt anyone. Through reading, you learn how others perfect the craft. They show you how to write and how not to write in some cases.
Explore familiar authors. Explore new authors. You never know what new things you can find and learn.