Writing Dialog

Happy Weekend!  Thought I would share something that has made my life as a writer easier…

I’m a pretty new writer.  I’m not an English major so I’ve had to learn some things the hard way.  One of the hardest things for me has been writing dialog that doesn’t sound unnatural and stilted.  When I first started out my characters spoke something like this:

“How are you today, Sam?”

“I am fine, Bob.  How are you?”
“Fine.  I see that there is a dead body on the sidewalk.  What happened?”

GROAN.

My characters spoke in monotone, with little emotion, and no contractions.  Pretty much like that sentence.  I was stumped as to how I could liven up what my characters were saying and make them sound like real people.  What to do?

Then I got a great suggestion from a friend.  She’s not a writer, but she’s smart.  It helped.  Alot.  I purchased  reasonably priced speech recognition software.

Now I was speaking the words my characters were saying.  If they sounded funny or monotone or stiff, I heard it right away.  I didn’t try to “write” the dialog between my characters.  I simply spoke the words the way the characters sounded in my head.  (We’ll talk about the voices in my head in another post, okay?)

My crit partner noticed the improvement right away.  I also found that I was getting more words per day since I wasn’t torturing myself over every single sentence of dialog.

I recently learned that Windows 7 already has this feature built-in.  No extra software required.   You can find it in your Control Panel, under Speech Recognition.  (You will also need a microphone and ear phones.)

Hope this helps someone struggling as I was!

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