In the past month, five different writers have reviewed my writing. Two of those women are published and one even sold a self-help writing book. What struck me as funny was that three of them told me on entirely different occasions that I have great dialogue. I found this ironic because I’m NOT a conversationalist… at all. In fact, they call me Gabby at my day job as a joke because I don’t talk.
At the beginning of one first date I went on, I remember panicking because I feared my silence was going to ruin the entire night. The cab of his truck on the way to the movies was utterly quiet and I was like, Say something, Linda. So, I blurted out, “I hope you’re as nervous as I am,” and he actually laughed in relief. He told me I must’ve been reading his mind and then he proceeded to take care of the rest of the conversation. He didn’t care if I wasn’t much of a talker. So, I married him two and half years later.
I’ve heard most writers think dialogue is the hardest part of creating a story. I think it’s the easiest. I’m not sure what I do that my critique friends think is good, but I do enjoy reading stories of authors who have strong dialogue. To name a few, there’s Nora Roberts, Julia Quinn, Linda Howard, Lisa Kleypas, Catherine Anderson, Suzanne Brockmann, and tons more. I like to skip ahead when I’m reading their stories to the talking parts. I also put dialogue as soon as I can in my stories.
But honestly, I have no idea what makes dialogue good, so I’ve looked up a few help sites and here they are…