About writing believable dialogue, Steve Martin famously said in his essay Writing is Easy: “Many very fine writers are intimidated when they have to write the way people really talk. Actually it’s quite easy. Simply lower your IQ by fifty and start typing!”
Truer words have ne’er been spoken! Writing dialogue shouldn’t be that hard. After all, it’s how we speak, or rather how your characters would speak, if they were really (yes, I know they are real in your own mind; I’m talking about to the rest of us). But the fact is, it is hard. Making dialogue sound credible, like it was spoken by actual three-dimensional people who have a hard time deciding what to wear each morning is crucial. It’s pivotal to keeping readers interested and turning pages.
In that vain, here are 25 things you didn’t know about dialogue from novelist Chuck Wendig.