Talking Heads: Dialogue Scenes in Your Book that May Lack Punch

talking heads figures-368751_640I hadn’t heard the expression “talking heads” before, but I just had an editor point it out to me. Suddenly I realized how guilty I am of writing scenes with talking heads. You know, the ones where the characters are chatting away in a blank space with nothing around them to ground the reader and transport them into the scene.

Yes — that is what “talking heads” means. Writing a scene with no anchors. Creating a sequence of dialogue between characters that isn’t placed in a vivid setting or surrounded with the right emotion.

As brilliant as your dialogue and physical beats may be, if they’re not placed in the right setting, they’re going to fall short. So, how do you create these anchor points and add that extra punch needed for a scene? Continue reading “Talking Heads: Dialogue Scenes in Your Book that May Lack Punch”

How to Write Better Dialogue

file0001934509658Last week, Big Al treated us to his vast experience on what not to do with dialogue and dialogue tags. That got me all excited to talk about one of my favorite topics: how to write better dialogue. Here are just a few tips:

1. Get a stronger handle on how people talk to each other. This is your best tool in your dialogue toolbox. Dialogue isn’t an exact replica of human speech. We’d have to contend with a lot of verbal tics and repetition if it were. But spending some time listening will improve your ear. I like to do that by eavesdropping on conversations. Legally, of course. Listening will also help you learn to craft dialogue that will differentiate one character from another. Continue reading “How to Write Better Dialogue”

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