How to write convincing dialogues and internal monologues:
“Great story, but the characters don’t sound convincing”. Or worse – “I could not relate to the characters”. Heard that feedback? Why do you think this is happening to your story and your novel? There could be many reasons, but one of the most obvious (and easy to remedy) problems could be the lack of authentic dialogue. If your character does not sound right, your character will not convince.
Here’s the solution: Take a minute to get yourself into the skin of the character. This should not be difficult – he/she is your creation, nobody knows them better. Now, playing the character, read the within-quote dialogue out loud. Does your character talk this way? Or think this way in his/her mind? If yes, you are good to go. If not, change it – this little change will ensure that your character sounds authentic, at least in dialogue.
Note 1: Most of my writerly knowledge come from a workshop I attended about two years back with the Bangalore Writers Workshop with two amazing ladies, Bhumika Anand and Rheea Mukherjee, as our facilitators; and the most amazing of batches as classmates, the Yaks.
PS: A few of my reader and writer friends have mentioned that I write dialogues and internal monologues well. In fact, a few of them have also mentioned that I write too much dialogue – that I know that I write decent dialogues and therefore I flog it for all it’s worth. There might be a grain of truth in that …
Note 2: There has been a deluge in readers to this blog. Thank you everyone for dropping by. Thanks especially to Neil D’Silva and the For Writers, By Authors Facebook group for linking and highlighting my previous story.
So here’s the first in (hopefully) a series of tips on writing.
Do keep checking in here, friends, for more writing tips. Ask me. I will tell you what I know, and if I do not know (which is very possible), I will find someone who does, and find out the answer for you.