New answers tagged dialogue
I would note one thing: The "dull" first passage has eight lines. The medium middle passage has four lines. And the interesting last passage has two. If anything, it should be the other way. Cut down the dull first passage to no more than four lines, and "beef up" the interesting passage to four (or more) lines.
Actually, there's a social rule of thumb here, that may apply in fiction. That is, to treat serious matters lightly, and light matters gravely. As another answerer pointed out, you're mother's comments seemed "too light," until you drop the bomb" about animal self destruction. Here, the mother ought to get concerned, but she doesn't, a perfect foil to your ...
If do you want to liven up the dialogue you perhaps need to add some conflict into the mother's state of mind. Her input to the scene is sadness and worry, which is a little predictable and one dimensional, and that makes it difficult to conjure interesting expression. The mother could carry other traits or motivations. She may be hiding guilt, regret, a ...
Don't cut it if you can make it better. You are wasting some conflicts here and your inputs to the scenes are a bit simplistic. In the first example you have him tired and her sympathetic. Both of those are quite weak. We've all been there and said the same things so you're telling us nothing about the characters. Tiny tweaks to those inputs could inspire ...
I would use "soft core" tech terms that most people know. In one of my works, one character describes his friend to a third character: "He's a real computer man. Thinks in terms of links and flow charts."
Some authors do their best to worm some semicolons and colons into a character's dialogue; however, since you can't see how someone talks in reality, it is more common to use the predictable punctuation like periods, commas, question marks and exclamation marks. See what I did there?
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