CATHERINE’S 3 C’S FOR COMPELLING CONVERSATION:
Dialogue Tips from Catherine Mann
Age/Jargon: Make dialogue age appropriate
Idiosyncrasies: Give characters words, phrases, even curses, specific to their personalities
Dialects: Use sparingly, choosing a couple of regional adjustments to give flavor.
Male/Female Distinctions: Men tend to talk in shorter sentences, fewer superlatives.
Realism vs. Representation: Real conversation may last 10 minutes, but book form will be shorter.
Deflating Bloated Dialogue: Sweep for unnecessary words.
Tags, Tags, Tags: Watch for adverbs on said-ism tags and opt for snappy action tags when possible.
Vary Rhythm: Vary sentence lengths.
Power of Silence: Endless pages of dialogue can leave the reader adrift, without a sense of place or emotions.
Read Aloud: Test dialogue by reading aloud to weed out stilted language choices.