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As a reader, one of the biggest hindrances for me when it comes to a piece of writing is stiff dialogue (and no, for once I don’t actually mean “stiff” as a double entendre). I think this is true of any kind of creative work. Think about a movie you’ve seen that had the absolute worst dialogue, like Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith:
After I watched this movie for the first time, I wondered if George Lucas had ever listened to two humans communicate before. I’m not trying to knock Star Wars because I love the franchise, but anyone who claims Episode III had good dialogue is either lying or George Lucas.
Terrible dialogue pulls you right out of a story because it destroys the fantasy. You don’t feel like you’re reading/watching people have a real conversation with real emotions anymore. Writing, especially in romance and erotica, requires you to keep up that fantasy because once the sexy mood is broken, it’s hard to recapture it.
The easiest way to figure out if your dialogue sucks or not (again, not intended as a double entendre) is to read it out loud. If it sounds awkward when you read it, your audience is going to think it’s awkward, too. In particular, be aware of the use of contractions. For whatever reason, too many people stop using contractions in their dialogue and it ends up sounding too stiff and formal. This can be useful depending on your character, like if you’re writing royalty, but generally it just sounds awkward.
You want your characters to sound natural, like they’re real people, unless you have some specific reason for them to sound stilted and formal. Perhaps you’re writing a period drama, or your main character is a super virile space alien who is visiting Earth for the very first time.
Just read your dialogue aloud–you’ll catch anything that sounds awkward or doesn’t flow well, and your overall writing quality can improve.
I hope these quick tips are useful for your next scene. More than anything, just have fun with it. Sex is fun and your writing should reflect that, so get busy!
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