Avoiding Stilted Dialogue-author toolbox

Reblogging this excellent post about fixing dialogue!

ML Keller- The Manuscript Shredder

avoiding stilted dialogueBad dialogue will ruin an otherwise great story. It can rip your reader right out of the setting or create one that feels false. It will kill your pacing by stealing the energy from a scene. Almost all bad dialogue suffers from the same few issues. Don’t fall into these common traps.

Unrealistic Dialogue

For dialogue to sound “right” it needs to mimic actual speech. Consider:

“Good morning, Joan. Looks like you have been here all night. What are you working on?”
She rubbed her eyes. “Just finishing up the calculations for the teleportation ray. The test is scheduled for this morning, and if we don’t get this right, the department of defense will take the contract to our big rival, Trademartin.”
“I’m really worried about the test too. Everyone on our team is.” I gave her my coffee. “Sounds like you need this more than me.”
She took a…

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