It Ain’t Just Talk: 3 Crucial Elements of Great Dialog

Here’s some good stuff on dialogue! I have to say I’ve been reading a lot of dialogue recently that’s either way too generic or waaaaay too cute (the kind that goes on for pages because, it seems, the writer just likes hearing all that clever patter). And I confess, I struggle to stay within these parameters myself.
I think creating the best dialogue comes down to working with characters who are not generic themselves, who have something to say—and, as this article suggests, are in conflict in some way. For example, one wants something the other doesn’t want to give. The screenwriting books I’ve read called this “no” dialogue. Great stuff happens when “no” underlies the scene. Sound too negative? Next time you’re bored or stuck with your scene, try it.
One final thought: too much dialogue, and you’ve got a stage play, not a novel, not even a movie. This is one of my greatest challenges: making sure that conflict-filled dialogue scenes are tempered by scenes where characters do things instead of just talk.
What are your challenges, pet peeves, and strategies when it comes to dialogue?

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 8.14.11 AM

She’s baaaaack. Well, sort of. Today I have an extra special treat. This is going to sound super conceited but whatever, it is MY blog 😛 . But first lemme caveat with this.

I feel I DO have a knack for predicting the next big thing. Case in point, in 1993 I was at an air show and there was an unknown all-female band I chatted with because no one was really over there. I loved their unique sound and gushed over how one member employed the banjo (an instrument forgotten at that time).

I told them I was sure they were going to be the next biggest thing in country music, and even bought some of the cheap merchandise they sold to support their music and prove I meant what I said.

That little band was The Dixie Chicks.

I’ve done this time and time again with authors and…

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