"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform..." William Cowper

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Session #6: A Little More Conversation

To The Ones I Love,

It was so nice talking with you on the phone the other night. Wow, I really miss you, Mom and Dad and Tootles. I’ll be happy to get a mid-summer’s break from camp next week and see you all!

Still learning a lot here, though. And not that I’m one to argue with The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I’m learning that a little bit more of good conversation—or at least dialogue—is just as good as fast-paced action.

Coach Sol taught us that what counts in dialogue is not what is said but the meaning behind what is said…or not said. I never realized how funny our words to one another can be. How often do we really mean what we say? Or rather, how often are we trying to convey something along with our words that we don’t (or wouldn’t dare!) come right out and say? This is another way to fill our stories with tension.

Coach said to avoid common dialogue. No one wants to read pleasant, boring conversation. My job as a writer is to make things happen.

I’m also learning what my character’s speech says about him or her. Some speech markers are vocabulary, throwaway words and phrases, tight or loose wording, run-on sentences, sarcasm, poor grammar, and inappropriate modifiers. I’m not just trying to stir up a little trouble (conflict) with my dialogue, I’m trying to get my reader to know my characters better.

Another thing writers need? Rest! That’s why I’ll be glad to take next week off and spend some time with you guys. Looking forward to it!

Your Little Yapper

I know many writers who insist that writing dialogue is some of the most enjoyable writing they ever do. How much fun do you have writing dialogue? How do you put a little snap in your character’s conversations?

photo credit: wikipedia


  1. Fun post! I think I'm learning more and more how to use dialogue. At first I used it just to convey information, but we have to be careful to not make the character say something he/she wouldn't normally say just to convey info! That can be tricky for me.

    1. Keep at it, Lindsay, it'll come easier! It is hard sometimes to behave our author's voice when writing dialogue. ;)

  2. I most certainly enjoy it. Might be one of my favorite gigs. These have been so much fun to read. And btw my husband loves this song. Huh, go figure. :D
    ~ Wendy

    1. lol Thanks Wendy! I was having fun listening to it earlier. :)

  3. Great post, Heidi! I love writing dialogue. (And enjoy your rest!) :)

  4. I've really been enjoying these posts, Heidi, even though I usually have been late to read them. I'm trying to do better. :-)

    Some people say they hate writing dialog, but I like it, especially when I can "hear" my characters and the way they speak.

    1. Thanks Sandy, and I agree--it's so much fun to "hear" those characters!