Here are excerpts a Guild member shared from a presentation about writing at the Wisconsin Writers Association (WWA) 2019 fall conference.
Good vs. Bad questions to ask while writing.
Good questions keep your reader reading.
Why is this happening?
What will happen next?
What needs to happen to my point-of-view (POV) character(s)?
What do my characters need, desire, fear, or hope for?
Bad questions cause your reader to give up, especially if they are confused.
Will this get published?
Why do I suck at this? (Always a bad question)
What if I get something wrong?
How do I sell this to an agent?
Maintaining Tension and Conflict in Dialogue
When a conversation needs to indicate conflict, keep in mind that it usually involves one of these types of adversarial relationships:
To enhance and maintain tension when characters are locked in a war of words, use:
Terse dialog (curt, abrasive language)
Short sentences and fragments
Pithy, to the point statements
To ease the tension and diffuse a situation, consider using:
Idle chit chat