Poor dialogue happens when the writer isn’t sensitive to the way his character talks. Poor dialogue is when characters overact and the dialogue is explicit. Poor dialogue is sometimes used to drag the story along with exposotion.
If the dialogue does not develop the plot or show the characters' personality or ambitions, then leave it out. Sometimes silence works best.
Open your notebook or your latop and take five minutes to make some notes on your story. Write brief descriptions on the following:
The story world ( history, society, houses, landscapes, art and all other matters)
Characters (names, descriptions, attitudes, opinions)
Scenes (locations, atmosphere, senses, dialogue, characters)
1. What is your character desire?
2. What is your character fear?
The dramatic tension in the story lies in the contrast between desire and fear. Something or someone must stand in your character's way otherwise there is no conflict, no tension and therefore, no story.
Your reader wants two things - to identify with your character and to escape from their own reality. So, from the outset, tell us what the character wants to achieve. That is our hook into the story. Now, keep the character focused on this objective. Nothing else matters. A mistake might be to allow your character to move aimlessly through the action, only reacting to events. If this is the case, then you are in danger of losing our interest.
So, force your character into action. And the more extrovert they are, the better. Extroverts just can’t help making a fuss!
You can do all the research in the world - biological, psychological, physical, political, historical – but it is pointless if it doesn’t lead to the creation of events and drama.
You are the filter for what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell in this world. You must own your experience, every detail of it, to write well. Each experience builds into a bigger picture. When you report where you are, what you see, taste, touch, feel and smell, you also release what is inside of you.
Be sensitive to all experience, no matter how small and you will be more deeply informed, often leading you to discoveries about relationships, places and yourself.
Write about those subjects that are surrounded with strong feelings. For instance, divorce, parenting, fighting a war or visiting a foreign country could be among your topics. Ask yourself “What do I hate or love about … ?” Do not answer with generalities. Be specific. List the smells, sounds, tastes, sights and textures of the event, place or person.
Smell, taste, hear, see and touch what you are writing about as if for the first time. Avoid writing about your attitude towards the subject and instead, let the images and details of the experience speak for themselves.
If your reader puzzles over a word or thought ever so slightly, if she is distracted by just one unnecessary word or phrase, you have lost her concentration.
The best writing has precision, which is, simply put, the exact word in its proper place.
'The limits of my language marks the limits of my world.' Ludwig Wittgenstein
Use words that reflect the strength of your feelings. Words change the world. Words teach. Words unleash their power when they are shared.
In a study carried out by Alexander Penney, it was found that people with high verbal knowledge are better at remembering past events and bringing them back to life through details.
Collect words! Keep a list in the back of your notebook.
Writing is nothing more than a guided dream. Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream by night.
Just write. Don't wait. For if you wait, you may never start. take what is nearest at hand, accept it and then work hard to transform it.
Write as if in a trance. Always say ‘yes’ and write without censoring. Don't block anything. Hold the door open for your self to surprise you.
Only the next sentence matters, not the last. You can always go back and edit, but in this moment, all you need to do is to move forward.
Mix handwriting with typewriting. Go backwards and forwards. Write the first draft on the computer, then write it out by hand. I find that in the gap between the two sometimes magic happens and new ideas are born.
Last thing at night, as you put your head on your pillow, think briefly about what you want to write tomorrow. Then, rise early, drink a glass of water and write.
Writing feels so much easier in the morning. Ideas come more naturally. One sentence spurs the next and the remnants of your dreams may infuse your writing with something special.