One Simple Tip to Write Better Dialogue

Dialogue can be a great way to reveal information without the dreaded info dump. Yet if you think that’s all dialogue can do, you’re missing the opportunity to deepen your stories.

One thing I’ve been exploring lately is the power dynamics at play in conversations.

You know, when the argument about who forgot to fold the laundry is really about a woman who is too damn tired to give a crap, and how much of her silent resentment rises to the surface.

Before you can get more on the page you have to know more as a writer, and one way I’ve been tapping into that is by spending a few minutes in my non-POV character’s head before I write a big scene.

What are they thinking about prior to the conversation? What do they know that they can’t reveal to the main character? What is their secret or hidden agenda? And how much of it can I reveal with strategic word choices or conversational tangents? 

Aligning myself with the supporting character—whether it’s the lover or the villain—has helped me deepen conversations but also have more fun with them. 

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