Dialogue: Contractions

Listen to people!

Write dialogue as people actually speak.

Too often, in reading manuscripts, I find dialogue between characters written as if a formal paper is being written.  A major example is failure to use contractions.  In too many novels, I find 'people' saying:
  • We are going to the store.
  • He is on the phone right now
  • I am a doctor.
In real life, we say:
  • We're going to the store.
  • He's on the phone right now.
  • I'm a doctor.
The result of such dialogue is that every character feels stiff, stuffy, overly formal, and unreal.  As a reader, I am constantly aware of the author, typing the formal writing taught to us for papers and essays.  I am completely unable to lose sight of the author, and am unable to enter into the world they are trying to create.

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