I’ve been going through some of my saved / bookmarked pages, and I came across this one from April Hamilton from back in July 2011. It’s a great summary of some problems that newbie writers (like me) have with dialogue (Indie Author: 6 Dialogue Traps To Avoid).
So it mentions that newbies often have the characters talking the same way i.e. with the same “voice”, which doesn’t happen in real life and is really boring to read. I’m not sure I like her examples of fixing it, as it starts to sound a bit cliché to have 20-somethings or ex-military people talk like caricatures, but it can give flavour to their voice. Equally, newbies often go for melodramatic scenes that are tripe for soap operas, or heavy on the exposition dump. And I like the overall premise of “when in doubt, read it out loud”. If it sounds wrong, it probably is. » Read the rest