Dialogue Boost

Conversation bubblesSo many writers struggle with dialogue, and yet it’s a vital part of “showing not telling” in a narrative. The trick is getting it to read as effortless as it should sound during a normal conversation. Luckily, there’s a super easy way I’ve found to improve my dialogue technique. It’s so easy, in fact, that I do it while watching my favorite shows on television.

Television is all dialogue. You can pick a show, or better yet several shows, that are aimed at the same audience as the story, watch several episodes of that show, and write down a few of the more significant dialogue exchanges for later dissection. The important thing is to get the rhythm of it in your “ear.”

The obvious downside of this is that you will have to watch a lot of t.v. I’ll make the popcorn.

The shows I watch for the YA audience are first and foremost The Vampire Diaries. Gossip Girl is also a good option. If you’re more for movies, try I Am Number Four. It’s excellently well written and aimed at teens. Any others you guys can think of?

About Mary Elizabeth Summer

Mary Elizabeth Summer is an instructional designer, a mom, a champion of the serial comma, and a pie junkie. Oh, and she sometimes writes books about teenage delinquents saving the day. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her daughter, her partner, her two neurotic dogs, and her precious prince--er, cat.
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