This is how I answered the question:
When writing dialogue, be the character. Don't edit as you write dialogue (plenty of time for that later), rather meditate yourself into the character's soul and let him/her talk. Don't judge what he/she is saying or if it 'fits the character, rather let your character ramble until you nail their way of talking, reacting, thinking. Your characters will write the dialogue for you. A couple days later you can edit, refine, make sure it fits what and who your characters are. Three or four revisions later, your dialogue will be as natural as if your characters were sitting next to you.
One thought on dialogue from my screenwriting experience that I use in novels - have the characters talk about anything other than what they REALLY want to talk about. That can lead to some great moments of subtext versus text - two sisters can be arguing over who does the dishes more and how it's not fair, and then in the fight, one of them drops the dish and it breaks... of course this conversation happens after dinner when their parents announce they're getting a divorce. That's just an obvious example, but that's something I hope to get people over their fear of dialogue - dialogue can be FUN!
THE NEW GIRL....AND ME author Jacqui Robbins wrote:
I "get into character" like i did in my theater days. I put on character-appropriate music, find an appropriate place/chair, etc. Then I dive in. Sometimes I even speak aloud while I write (they love me at the library...).
In late October, fantasy and romance novelist C.E. Murphy taught a class on Dialog at the South Carolina Writers Workshop and shared her notes on Magical Words. Muphy's notes are a must read for all writers!
Today with a much larger readership, I ask once again...
HOW DO YOU WRITE DIALOGUE?