Asked • 06/17/19

How to avoid turning dialogue into Q&A session?

I noticed a problem I have in my fictional writing. My dialogues quickly turn into interrogations. Here is an exaggerated example.> "How did you do it?" he asked. > "..." > "Will it kill us all?" > "..."> "What about your family?" > "..."I can spruce it up, of course. I can add some fillers so it feels more like questioner also contributes something to the conversation besides the questions. Still, at the core, it doesn't feel natural. It gets more awful when the answerer starts to ask questions too. I focus on the short stories right now. In addition to dialogues, I do have action and first-person narration (which I see as an internal form of dialogue).I think I'm doing Q&A instead of "natural dialogue" because I box my self into certain word count and want to explain all I need to explain within that word limit. Q&A does the job but feels unnatural. What makes the dialogue natural? Or what makes the dialog "flow" naturally? Sorry, if my question is a bit vague. It's like phrasal verbs. You can't memorize them all but after hearing them for 10 years you can with high accuracy detect the one that was used incorrectly in a given context. I can hear that my dialogue is not natural but don't know how to fix it. Are there any tricks-of-the-trade that can help me? Or is it just a matter of practice, practice and more practice? Thanks

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