I am a voracious reader. I mean it. I read no less than five books a week. My kindle is my constant companion and I love having the highlight feature that allows me to notate when dialogue or descriptive scenes move me.
After I have finished a book I like to go back to those passages and study them to see what it was that I was so taken with. And I have found that nine times out of ten it really is the dialogue that sings to me.
I think everyone has an idea of what part of a story is the most important for them. Personally, when I am reading, it is all about dialogue. Don't get me wrong, I have to believe in the character and the plot structure, but for me to spend my time reading the whole book I have to be really invested in the dialogue.
It has to be snappy. It has to make me laugh out loud and it has to be intelligent.
But when I am writing, dialogue is important, but I find I spend more time developing characterization. I have a couple of different worksheets that I use to develop each character and these are basically my crib sheets that I use through out the entire story.
As I write I have found that dialogue always comes to me once I have fleshed out my character. I never have a problem as long I have spent the time getting to know them before I start putting pen to paper.
As I was sitting on the beach Saturday, which is my work room on the weekends, I spent some time thinking about this because as a writer I find myself studying how other writers use words and I am always intrigued. Mainly because I want to effect the people who read my writings the same way I have been touched by my favorite authors and how they use words.
Keep you fingers crossed that I am doing it well.