These Two Things Just Don’t Mix

“Your written dialogue has to sound like your spoken dialogue. The only way to improve your dialogue is to get out there and talk to more people, different people.”

I have heard this statement from dozens of people. Every time I hear it, I get the strong urge to hit someone. It’s not that this statement isn’t true. It’s mostly true. Every author wants to write realistic dialogue, but there’s more than one way to acquire this skill.

Do you understand how hard it is to write dialogue when you’re an introvert? Thank the Lord for people watching or my English skills, written and spoken, might have deteriorated during my “silent years” (age 7-20). It took awhile, but people did eventually get used to me sitting in a corner listing to their conversations, or taking notes while they interacted among themselves.

That was my chosen form of entertainment :). It was also an easier way for me to learn how my characters should interact with each other. I’ll admit that a hands-on approach might have been better, but talking just takes so much energy. I know I’m not the only person out there who feels this way!

When I have trouble writing dialogue, I can’t just walk up to someone and start a similar conversation. My introvert personality doesn’t allow it. And, I suppose, a small part of my brain believes that my way is actually better. After all, I don’t want my written dialogues to completely resemble spoken conversations. Real conversations annoy me! My characters can speak without all of the “you knows,” “ums,” “likes,” and interruptions that plague conversation today (or fewer of them, at least.)

So writing can be more challenging for me! So what? I don’t have to not do certain things just because I’m an introvert! I just have to find more creative ways of getting things done…and I think I’ve done just that!

Does anyone else struggle with this? Would you say “amen”after reading this? Or do you think I’m just living with a vegetarian-like substitute? What other things have you had to find a creative way around since you realized your introvert-like tendencies?

Don’t turn tail and run. This is an introvert-safe zone.

The Dragon commands you to speak!


3 thoughts on “These Two Things Just Don’t Mix

  1. Disagree 100% – you can definitely be a great dialogue writer just by listening! Probably better than those who actively engage!!


  2. As your husband, more conversation would be nice, but I know it’s difficult for you sometimes. You can write good dialogue by listening, but It may help you to understand the people better for your character development if you were able to prompt them through conversation.
    I hope you don’t use as many “umms” in your writing as in your speech 😛


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