Dialogue can make people cry, laugh and believe what the author tries to convey in seconds. It provides memorable ways to understand the behaviour of the characters in a book.
When a writer puts words on the page into the mouths of characters, those words had better have a liveliness that make them seem to jump out of the page. Dialogue has to make us interested; curious to find out more about the heroes.
Readers enjoy dialogue because it brings them closer to the characters; it can make them sympathise with their emotions or be completely vexed with them and even hate them. But that should be your goal as a writer. Use your dialogues to present your characters in a way that will appeal to your readers and keep them reading on.
The minute characters talk, the reader sees them. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, readers want experiences when they pick up a book and they prefer to see what's happening rather than hearing about it through narration. Dialogue can help you do that.
Let's see some tips as well:
1) "Uhs" and "ers" are to be avoided in dialogue. Use your words wisely to give time to your characters to think of what they want to say.
2) A speech should be brief, not more than three sentences. If it is longer, then break it up with interruptions from other speakers or by an action or a thought.
3) Keep your dialogue simple. Give the reader the chance to digest it all in a quick reading. Remember that the reader perceives thoughts one at a time, so it's important that your dialogue builds one sentence after another and that they all add to the force of the whole.
4) The main purpose of dialogue is to reveal character and to move the story along. Talk is an action and at times, it can be more exciting than physical action. Try to put your characters under stress, for example, and see how they would react in real life situations. It will make your exchanges far more interesting.
5) You need to create an emotional effect in the reader, so forget logic. You want thoughts that are loose, words that carry your characters' feelings. Show their anger, stress, happiness, eagerness through speech and not by telling the reader what a character is feeling.
6) Before you begin writing any new dialogue, know the purpose of the exchange. After completing it, check if the lines spoken by each character are consistent with their background. Cut out the unnecessary words or loosen any stiff sentences. Try changing informal words to formal ones, or the reverse.
7) And perhaps most important, check to see what's going on between the lines. What counts is what is meant and not what is said. Make sure you have conveyed the meaning or feeling you intended.