You have such a way with your characters’ dialogue, it seems to flow naturally and always rings true. How do you go about making your characters “speak”? Is it purely an internal process or is it more involved?
I give my characters free will. The story is never outlined. They go where they want — and surprise me. When they speak, I don’t force them to feed information to the reader and advance the story. If they want to digress, I let them. If each is a vivid individual, his or her dialogue will be unique. And often in the digressions, we learn about them and discover new dimensions in the story. When a character says something funny, I laugh out loud because it’s as if I’m hearing it, not writing it.