Day Four of the A-Z Challenge—D is for dialogue. People either love the dialogue I write or hate it. I’ve been told that some of the characters in my e-books sound younger than they actually are. I’ve also been told that my dialogue is very realistic and sounds just like the way people actually talk.
I enjoy writing dialogue and have actually taken…er stolen…things that my family or friends say and worked them into dialogue.
Here are two examples from one of my favorite chapters in my book, “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny…” In the first example, Jay Galloway, my hero, is remembering a night when his mom won a free dinner for their family at a fancy restaurant…
“Yes. We all went there and the waitress took us to a booth big enough for the four of us. I drank some orange drink and then I said, ‘I have to go to the bathroom.’ Dad did our famous Galloway eye roll and said, ‘Hol-y crap, Jay! You need to speak up and announce it!’
I stood up. I couldn’t wait to walk away from the table, and my dad’s tasteless attitude. I tried to talk like the Cincinnati Red Wolves announcers. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, here are your Cincinnati Red Wolves….Number 58, Pete Vered, Number 25, Seymour Sellkirk, and now… it’s me, Jay Galloway! I have a special announcement!’ My dad stared at me, and his face did turn kind of red. ‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ I said in the loudest voice I could, ‘I’m going to the bathroom!’”
In the other example, my secondary character, Nan, has just gotten a bad review of her restaurant that’s filled with typos. She’s very upset, so Jay gives her some advice…
Jay sat down in one of the wooden chairs next to the oak kitchen island, where the staff did prep work. He leaned back in the chair and said, “Just e-mail him, or write a letter to the editor of this piece of crap magazine and say ‘I may be tasteless, but you’re unpofessional.’ And then send him a picture of your finger.”
What do you think? Is this dialogue realistic, or do my characters sound like teenagers? (Well, the real-life Jay does say he’s 29—LOL)