One way to Rewrite Dialogue and Make it Stronger

As writers, we all know that one of the most important elements of our short stories is the dialogue between our characters. Readers can learn a lot about the characters when dialogue is used as a tool.

The following steps are ONE WAY that I use to edit any sections of dialogue in my stories:

  • First – ALWAYS – Read your work OUT LOUD! (Even if you have to use the robotic voice in the Review Feature of MS Word!)
  • Skip the politeness and perfect English. How many people do you know who really speak that way?
  • RESEARCH your character to match their ‘voice’ with their personality, origins, mores, and profession. (What types of words does your character use in everyday conversation?)
  • Always be aware of the WHERE of the character? And who are they speaking to?
  • Check your language – usually characters (just like people) talk in fragmented sentences, and they’re distracted or interrupted or unsure in the conversation.
  • If your style is to use speech tags, are they covered? Have you also used action tags to keep the discussion fluid and visible?
  • Ensure that there is CONFLICT. Remember, a story without conflict isn’t exciting to readers.
  • Eliminate ‘talking heads’ by using body language, setting, and plenty of scene description.
  • EVERY LINE OF DIALOGUE CONTRIBUTES TO THE STORY – no ‘fluff’ allowed.

Sometime during the next few months, I will post a series ALL ABOUT Dialogue!

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Published by Mustang Patty

I am finally a full-time author, who writes legal thrillers, how-to- books, short stories, flash fiction, a tiny bit of poetry, and Blog posts. My published works include 'Guilty until Proven Innocent,' 'Innocent for the Moment,' and 'Moment by Moment.' This is a trilogy called the Jill Adair Series. Additionally, I've written a collection of short stories about my dogs, Howie and Bernie - with a 2nd Collection coming in late 2021. I'm also coordinating an Anthology of Short Stories called, '2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology.' This book will be available on Amazon.com on August 1st of 2021. (The 2020 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology is currently available on Amazon.com - the collection includes 30 stories, written by 18 different Authors from three continents.) I am married to my wonderful hubby of over 37 years, and I have two grown children, named Heather and Gregory. I've been blessed with two beautiful grandbabies, Heather Rose and Logan Ernest.

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