Aside from motivating myself to write every day, my chief writing weakness is dialogue. I know this. It’s been quite some time (since college or earlier) since I really tried to write any.
I asked Phantom to read some that I had written last night, and he politely agreed with me that my dialoge is very mechanical. (Incidentally, once I’ve written more, I’ll need to find some more critical critics. 🙂
My first urge is to drop everything and start researching dialogue. I’m reading Boneshaker right now, and Cherie Priest has some really amazing dialogue. Things like ‘She arranged her words carefully,” etc. I need to study some dialogue and maybe see if I can find a good class online to learn more. I need to make it prettier.
HOWEVER, this would be another way to derail myself from just putting my hands on the keyboard and writing. So my thinking is that I just need to write the damn thing first, then go back and re-write the dialogue in my first edit.
So I’ve been keeping notes about things I need to focus on in the first edit..
1. Re-write dialogue
2. More sensory details (unexpected senses)
3. Fact-check characters and their dialogue against their character sketches. Also, look for contradictions in the text. I’ve never really written anything this long before, so I had no idea that it was so easy to lose track of things I said earlier.
4. Grammar. Remove about 1/3 of the commas I use.
5. Quotes. I tend to use ‘ instead of ” because I use ‘ a lot in my chat job.
6. Names. I’ve changed one character’s name 3 times, and so I keep finding places where her old name appears even though I’ve done find and replace several times.
7. Character quirks. My characters are still really flat right now. I need to add physical details, quirks, and accents to make them distinctive.
When I DO decide to go and pursue some knowledge on how to write pretty talk, I’ll probably go here: http://www.writerscafe.org. They have some great courses and articles. It’s also a great place to send out reading requests, read work from other authors, and there are forums too. I’m AmieRavenson there too, so look me up! 🙂