Do you write effective dialog?

Do you like DIY (do it yourself) instructions?

Give me a step-by-step diagram and I’m good.
An email in my inbox, from Janice Hardy from Fiction University, caught my attention. It was part of a How They Do It Series.
Good conversation, and snappy dialog draws us in whether it’s in a movie or in a book. A good comeback, in one-to-one conversation, invokes an emotional response. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we get mad but we don’t forget the comment.

Something Worth Saying: Writing Effective Dialogue

By Joyce Scarbrough, @JoyceScarbrough 
Read the 5 tips from Ms. Scarbrough. In her first tip she reminds us that dialogue isn’t how people talk in real life.
“Leave out the banalities.
Dialogue isn’t supposed to mimic real conversations. It’s supposed to make them a lot more interesting. Readers don’t want to wade through all the niceties and chit chat people normally engage in to get to the meat of the conversation.”
To read the rest of her insight and tips click on Something Worth Saying: Writing Effective Dialogue.
Practice makes perfect, or at least improvement. In the comments section write a piece (50-150 words) using just dialog to tell what’s happening.

Here’s mine:

“Waiting long?” Mitch asks, staring straight ahead, his eyes on the road.

“I wasn’t waiting.”

“Looked like waiting to me.” He lifted one eyebrow, a smirk played on his lips.

“Well, I wasn’t,” I said, trying not to sound ungrateful. “I was just deciding which way to walk when you stopped.”

“O kay.” His voice rich with sarcasm as he drew out the word. 

“Can I borrow your phone?” I changed the subject. 

Mitch handed me his mobile. “Not sure you’ll get a signal out here.”

“Shit.” I dropped the phone back on the console. He was right.

“Where to?”

I love reading your comments. Don’t forget to pass this post on to your Facebook and Twitter pals.
If you’re not already, please follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!
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