Use dialogue as conflict. When it comes to dialogue, snub those warnings from your computer that announce “WARNING! Improper English.” Read your dialogue aloud. The best test is to have a friend read it out loud and you just sit back and listen. Does it sound natural? Does it add conflict, reveal character or simply sound like they are sitting down to a hum-drum cup of tea? Cut the tea unless it’s a vital ritual or the murder weapon. If you don’t have friends to read for you, then record yourself and play it back. Most smart phones have recording apps. Make your dialogue as authentic as possible. Each character should express himself or herself differently. Use contraction, fractional sentences, one-word answers, slang, disruption, silence, and cagey replies. Use attitude and tension to create conflict in your dialogue and on the page. In other words, keep it real.