Updated notes about the workshop on dialogue that I did yesterday are online.
The summary and suggestions are
- Go back to basics. Think about what dialogue reveals about people - not just in the words they say, but the pauses, hesitations and interruptions.
- Read about the recent developments in discourse/conversation analysis. They help make explicit the mechanisms of dialogue we all use.
- Mainstream literary dialogue has become rather formulaic and artificial. The standard notation hinders the rendering of some revealing aspects of dialogue.
- Non-standard notations are increasingly common in novels. You might for example consider using screenplay notation.