Most writing books give standard tips for writing good dialogue. However I don’t think conflict is stressed enough. Dialogue is supposed to be like a tennis match – back and forth, one person wanting something the other, reluctant.
It’s larger than that, however. Novelist Holly Lisle says this:
Dialogue is about demonstrating character through conflict, either internal or external. (A word about conflict—it isn’t always something bad that’s happening. It can be something as terrific as winning a million bucks in a lottery or falling in love or discovering your character is going to have a baby. However, conflict always portends change. And dialogue always gives you a window to see into the way that characters feel about that change, or at least the way they want each other to think they feel, which may not be the same thing. )
Check her website out. It looks helpful to creative writers. http://hollylisle.com/
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