What to do?
Like everything else in writing, it's time to learn. Yes, some other writers will always write more stunning dialogue than I do, but mine can be improved. Here are a couple of posts that have helped me recently.
Learn Organic Dialogue. Rob D. Young lists nine ways to make dialogue more organic. He's got things I 'knew', but seldom insert into my writing, like mishearing people, and self-interruption. I'm making note of his tips so I can watch for places to use these in my manuscript.
Know Good Dialogue. Nathan Bransford came up with the seven keys to writing good dialogue. He points out the specifics of what good dialogue should do, like build towards something (he calls this escalation).
Edit Dialogue. Stephanie Morill has come up with a great checklist for editing dialogue. She poses thirteen questions to ask when going over a manuscript. Several are aspect I wouldn't have thought about other wise, like: Do your characters use different words for the same thing, or are their phrasings too similar? I'm planning to print out the list and adding it to my editing notebook.
Which authors are gifted at dialogue in your opinion? How do you edit the dialogue you write?
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