Stilted Dialogue?

#writetip Do you think your dialogue is stilted?

Here’s a quick tip. Look for dialogue where you don’t use contractions and rewrite with a contraction.

“I can not find my rain gear.”


“I can’t find my rain gear.”

Which one sounds less stilted to you?


3 thoughts on “Stilted Dialogue?

  1. The second sounds much more natural to me.
    Lately, I’ve been obsessed with creating ‘white space’ in my dialogue, and minimizing tags to give that ping-pong effect. It’s a lot of fun, but only the beta readers will tell whether it works or not!


  2. I prefer stilted sialogue unconditionally over any other dialogue; consequently, I will not be deterred by any of your manipulative injunctions from writing stilted dialogue shamelessly and religiously.


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