And what big dance looms in the future? The prom.
Let's say there is a teen-age character in a story and that person has just been told that the person they hope to go to the prom with is going with someone else.
Here are four responses. What do these responses tell us about this character? Can you picture them?
A. "Like I really care."
B. "That's great. They make a great couple. Yeah, it's really great."
C. "Good. I didn't want to go."
D. "Well, guess she wants to have a really lousy time."
Dialogue, realistic dialogue is so important in writing Young Adult fiction. Without realistic dialogue your teen reader isn't going to dig it. Like, you can't be square when telling your tale nightingale.
No matter when your story is set, 1957 or 1597 it's important to pay attention to dialogue. If your story is historical, of course, you're going to be given more room for longer sentences.
Here is an excerpt from page five of "The Secret of the Old Clock"
"I want to apologize to you, Nancy, for thinking you hit Judy," the woman said. "I guess Edna and I lost our heads. You see, Judy is very precious to us. We brought up her mother, who had been an only child and was orphaned when she was a little girl. The same thing happened to Judy. Her parents were killed in a boat explosion three years ago. The poor little girl has no close relatives except Edna and me."
Phew...a bit long winded for today's reader. It reminds me of soap operas and how sometimes the doorbell would ring and the character at the door says, "Hello. So good to see you after six years. I just want you to know I've been around the world and fathered twenty-two children."
Even though you might be working on a historical novel and you want the dialogue to feel as though it's part of the times don't let it become too long-winded. You'll lose your reader.
This book, published in 1993, may be a bit dated, but the dialogue still holds tension. This is from page 30.
“I want to know now,” Shane said in a harsh voice. “Now.”
The cold, cruel look came back into Kent’s eyes.
“Would you like to see your precious violin again? The Guarnerius?”
“You know I would.”
“In one piece?” Or shattered into fragments?”
“You wouldn’t do that. You couldn’t.”
The man nodded slowly.
“Oh, but I could.”
“Only a savage would do a thing like that.”
The man laughed softly.
But this time it was not a pleasant laugh.
“I’ve never considered myself anything but a savage. Does that surprise you, Lockwood?”
“That violin goes back centuries. It’s a supreme work of art. It’s…”
And he couldn’t go on.
“I know that very well. That’s why I took it from you.”
Shane tensed and leaned forward toward the man.
“How much money do you want? How much?”
Kent smiled an shook his head.
“Not a cent.”
“Just the favor.”
This writing is staccato. It's a finger thrust into your chest...poke...poke...hard and quick.
Here's another book from the 90s with sharp dialogue.