When I wrote my first books, back in the late 70s, I sort of avoided dialogue, except where needed. The dialogue was serviceable, I think, but I mostly relied on narrative. They were fantasy books, so the setting and mood were more important, or so I thought.
When I came back to writing in the 10s, I found myself doing dialogue more and more often. I'm older, and I've had more conversations in my life, you know? But I've never tried to have the memorable lines--unless they came naturally.
Yesterday I had an idea for a store, as I related on Facebook.
"Dreamed an entire Kafkaesque story set in a gigantic nursing home, with
an evil security guard (Ian McKellen-like) victimizing a new resident (me)
and no one will believe me because they all love McKellen and think I
have dementia, so I escape and I'm finding places to hide in the huge
building and McKellen is chasing me down.
"And the nursing home is like a
slice of American life, with the rich living in huge luxurious
apartments on top and the poor living in tiny cells at the bottom."
Here's the thing. I see this more as a screenplay than as a book. But a screenplay relies much more on dialogue, and I'm still not sure that is my strong suit. I can see this whole movie in my head, but it would be driven by what is said as much as by the action. I mean, it's important to know your strengths and weaknesses.
What it would take is a lot of thought for each line of dialogue. It would definitely be a new experience.
5 days ago