68,920, and now for some dialogue

I spent most of today thinking about work, about one minute total exercising (squats), and then when my mental energies were at their lowest ebb, I tried to write a dinner date between my two lead characters.

I definitely could have gotten down more words if it wasn’t for one simple fact: I suck at imagining dialogue.

I knew what I wanted: a few minutes of flirting and a tiny bit of character building, leading to the formation of a working relationship, cemented by a team-building escape from certain death.

I knew I wanted them to be into each other, but subtly so. The dialogue had to avoid info-dumps but still give a little incluing. They needed to have their own unique voices, and follow their own motives. I wanted a bit of Tarantinoesque discussion of something not central to the plot, but instead matching the tone.

Basically, I think I asked too much from a first Draft… still pretty happy with the result.

How do you go about writing dialogue? Any books that have great dialogue?

Best regards,


About D.R.Sylvester

A Clinical Research Associate by day (google it), writer by night, D.R.Sylvester lives in Sydney, Australia with his patissiere wife and Siberian Wolf. His interests include travel, music (predominantly Metal), reading, & archery.
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3 Responses to 68,920, and now for some dialogue

  1. gpeynon says:

    I find writing dialogue the easiest of all; don’t know why. My nemesis is backstory, or more pointedly, how to get that backstory in without the infamous info-dump. Funnily enough,though, I have found that turning BS into dialogue makes it an easier pill for the reader to swallow.

    Nice post. Thanks.

    • I think turning BS into dialogue is one of my problems…
      In seriousness though, I’m planning to sprinkle snippets of back-story throughout the piece during the 2nd edit. Now that you mention, during the dialogue would be the place to do it. Thanks, & glad you enjoyed!

      • gpeynon says:

        Yeah, I had a huge chunk of info on how my cannon worked; vital to the story, but it went on for about three pages – and that was the edited version. As soon as someone gave me the idea to turn info-dumps into dialogue, I tried it out on this first. I decided to have one of the ship’s officers give a demonstration to a civilian onboard who asked how the guns work. He gave a brief history of the weapon and then we ‘watched’ as a gun crew went through the motions, all of which explained at every step of the way by our enthusiastic lieutenant. It really brought the piece to life as opposed to it being just pages of text. Also allowed for a little character development too. Bonus.

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