From: Hayden Robel
Location: Santa Maria, California
Hello Mr. Bear, my name is Hayden Robel. I am an aspiring teenage writer (also a fan of City at the end of time as well as your Halo contributions)currently crafting a "young adult" (as if an ambiguous genre label can be plastered on) science-fiction novel. If you have the time, i was wondering if you could please fill me in on your own process of dialogue construction, in particular crafting authentic/organic( i hate to use the word non-cliche' or even "original") character-to-character conversation particularly the dreaded filler/interstitial chats. The funny thing is it seems that the non-essential dialogue delivery is my greatest writing challenge as of the moment, where as crucial character interactions come naturally to me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you for your time :)
From: Greg Bear
Hello, Hayden! Dialog is made simpler if you read your character's words aloud (maybe when no one else is listening!) and see how they sound. The more natural and unforced, the more you WANT to read them aloud, the better the dialog. And listen to how the people around you speak, how different kinds of people choose their words, when they speak and when they don't. Learning how to write dialog never ends! Best of luck with the book.