Dialogue is so core to fiction, yet there are pretty solid limitations to how you can make it your own. Stray too far from the norm, and your readers end up putting the book down in frustration. Stick too closely to how "real people talk," and you sounds like an emergency call transcription. ("So, ahhh, I was waiting at the curb. I had just walked my dog. It was a great day, really warm, uh, not warm, um, like hot, but just the right temperature.")

Often the best path is to inject just a tiny hint of "other" into your dialogue if you're trying to claim it for your own. When Kiellen refers to herself in the third person, it creates a clear sense that we're not in Kansas anymore - hopefully without too much confusion!

Comment