Writing dialogue is an essential part of keeping your reader engaged in your novel or short story, and so you need to know how to write dialogue well.
Dialogue is so important to every story - it gives your reader that delicious fly-on-the-wall feeling that is a major element in the seduction of reading.
So, how do you go about writing good dialogue?
The essential thing to remember about fiction dialogue is that it's not real-life dialogue, but it has to sound like real dialogue. This can be a tricky balance to get right and the articles under this section (linked on the right) aim to help you achieve that balance.
In short, though, fiction dialogue is much more streamlined and on-point than real-life dialogue. Where real conversations often go around the houses with lots of digressions and pauses and ummm's and so on, fiction dialogue is focused and clear.
If we were to think of it as an image, real-life dialogue would look like a squiggly line, like a cat got into a ball of wool maybe. Fiction dialogue however would look like a smooth line. That line would arc upwards as the conflict in the scene escalates (which it should), but it would be smooth and elegant in shape.