Do You Have “As You Know, Bob…” Syndrome?–How Writers Can Butcher Dialogue & How to Fix It

This post addresses an aspect of bad writing that I really, really hate! Thanks Marcy and Kristen.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Writing a stand-out novel involves a lot of individual pieces working together in perfect concert. If there’s no solid plot? Readers get confused, lost or bored. If the plot is great, but the characters are all one-dimensional paper dolls? No one cares. If we butcher grammar, spelling and formatting? It’s a formula for dismal sales or even a long line of one-star reviews from ticked off readers.

Hey, the world may think writing fiction is easy, but we all know differently ;).

One of the best ways to move plot forward with increasing momentum and to create living, breathing characters is by harnessing the power of dialogue. As an editor for twelve years, I can tell you dialogue is one of the single largest components of writing great fiction, and it’s the part that’s most often butchered. The story can be great, the setting, the prose?

….and then comes…

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2 comments on “Do You Have “As You Know, Bob…” Syndrome?–How Writers Can Butcher Dialogue & How to Fix It

    • I guess you mean dialogue-pacing, rather than story/plot pacing. I like to think my acting experience helps me. I’ve struggled with making badly-written dialogue sound natural, so I read dialogue out loud to see how it sounds, to see if it feels natural. Break up dialogue with actions, reactions to what has just been said, pauses for thought… It’s probably something that comes with practice. And we return to that old problem, finding good beta-readers who can indicate areas that need attention. Good luck!

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