“Your dialogue is bad.”
It’s possibly the best most comforting soup and one of the most annoying criticisms an author can hear. Combined.
I hope you like it!
Potato Cheddar Soup of Bad Dialogue
Ignore the agent's beta reader who said your dialogue was forced. HAS SHE EVER LEFT HER HOUSE? It's Covid-19 time. Everybody's dialogue is forced.
Make sure you're boiling the water in the soup pot.
Once the water is boiling (like your temper. Bad dialogue? Seriously), add potatoes, onions, salt and celery.
Put a cover on that soup pot. Put it on medium heat because if things boil over it gets messy. (This includes your temper.)
Write some dialogue. "I hate you with the passion of a thousand kitty mugs, Dirk." "And I love you, Karen, with the love of a thousand social media posts never gone viral."
Find another pot, maybe a saucepan, the kind that holds two quarts.
In that pot melt the butter. Make that a low heat. Butter burns just like criticism over dialogue.
Add in a really slow way the cheese. Add flour next.
Now slowly add the milk, spices, herbs and use a whisk.
Practice dialogue on the whisk.
"I love you with the love of a million political pundits," you tell the whisk.
"And I you," says the whisk. "Which means I love you not at all."
There! That was good, right?
When it is all blended, add the cheese to the potatoes and onions in the big pot.
Put it on super low heat for fifteen minutes. This time do not have the cover on.
Stir a lot because cheese, butter, and flour like to burn.
Go buy a book on writing effective dialogue and eat your pain away.
This is taken from my favorite vegetarian cookbook of my youth, Horn of the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan and it got me through many sad times. It's super comforting.