by Lisa Brown on Just Publishing Advice site:
For many writers, dialogue seems like such a tedious task. Even though this type of writing is not straightforward, it is vital to creating characters and their surroundings. You need to take the reader inside your head.
Although you have a good idea of your characters’ personalities and what they look like, you have to communicate this to your readers. If you are new to it, there are some essential factors your dialogue should cover.
Make sure that you convey the character’s personality accurately. Think about having an actual conversation with someone.
You need to sound like a real person and not a robot. Write the way you speak, while communicating your characters way of talking. It does seem challenging at first, but once you put a personality to your characters, it should not be.
You can always use a paraphrase tool if you are not happy with your sentence structure and see if you get pleasing results.
Let the reader become the character by building the surroundings and emotions into your dialogue. You do not have to explain the atmosphere in a speech form of writing, but rather through your dialogue.
You can use a lot of dialogue tags, but the most popular one would be the verb “said”. It is a safe tag to use because it does not take the reader’s emotions anywhere.
It is merely a normal conversation that is happening. There are also tags like “screamed”, “observed” and “denied” to just name a few. These are more specific to the emotion of the character when something is said.
Although tags are necessary to help us understand the dialogue better, there can also be an overuse of tags. If two people are talking to each other, you might want to delete the tags of one person.
A general conversation can be communicated without too many tags. Perhaps you can use the tag for the first person and then omit it when the other replies. It is less confusing for the reader.