I managed to begin working on a novel I outlined last year. In the process of prepping it, I changed some of the focus, decided that it would be told from the points of view of different women and would use no dialogue. In fact, right now I’m only writing out the thoughts and memories of the five characters in the novel.
While going about it this way is practical because I’m writing out of sequence and not putting the narrative together yet, it also frees me from the anxieties I have about writing dialogue. I HATE WRITING DIALOGUE. Let me say that again. I hate writing dialogue. I even had one of my characters muse about how horrible it is to write dialogue.
Basically, it all comes down to this: everyone thinks that dialogue in pop culture works should sound like something that comes out of a Tarantino film, but the reality is that no one really speaks that way. We all have our own speech patterns and verbal tics and our language really may not vary that much when we actually speak.
I can understand wanting to punch up dialogue a bit. Everyday speech can be incredibly boring, especially when trying to capture people in a realistic light. I took a few liberties with speech in my fantasy work because one of the things I wanted to show was how the language of the protagonists had been changed in ways that eliminated many emotional words while they were under hostile rule. Otherwise, I just allow characters to talk about everyday things.
I prefer writing the inner thoughts of my characters and taking stories from points of view. In a way, this makes it a bit harder to write my current project because I have to wait until my characters speak to me. Still, the writing process is still a bit freeing and I plan to fill a full 70-page notebook before I begin putting the novel together in any coherent form. I still write in sequence and am working on speculative works as well. But I get completely stumped when it comes to dialogue. Perhaps it’s because I have so little experience talking to people.