Julie Gray offers five tips for diving into your character’s minds to write better dialogue.

For some writers, dialogue is a pretty big challenge. Something I have noticed at table reads and certainly at the Tel Aviv Writer’s Salon, is that when writers read their work aloud and there is dialogue, they tend to sort of act it out, changing their voice and speaking the dialogue the way a person really would. Again, for others, this just does not come naturally.

So here are five ways in toward writing better dialogue

1. Practice

For one whole week, listen to the way people talk. Listen to the way YOU talk. “The thing is never really the thing” as someone wise once said. Literally, be weird for a week and jot down or subtly record the conversations you hear and participate in. Notice the sarcasm, irony and allusions that people make. Most people do not say what they want to say 100% directly. It’s human nature. Really devote one whole week to noticing the way people talk. Listen to our conversation this evening.

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