We talk all day long but often capturing realistic dialogue in our writing can be hard. If you struggle with this, start listening. For this exercise, grab your laptop or notebook and head to a public place and start listening. If your characters are younger, than go to a place where younger people hangout. You don’t want to be a creep and eavesdrop, but you do want to get a sense of how people communicate.

Then, as you hear interesting snippets of dialogue, record them. You don’t need to transcribe entire conversations, but listen to how people really talk to one another, how they interrupt each other,and begin and end sentences and thoughts.

Try to record at least 15 lines of dialogue along with some impressions of how people really communicate.

When you are done, go back through some sections of dialogue you have written. Read them out loud. Do they “sound” real? Can you fix your dialogue with any of the insights you’ve gained through this exercise?

Share your insights and the best lines you’ve heard in the comments below.