I have heard it said that you should read your dialog out loud. This will alert the writer if the words the characters are saying sound realistic or not. I can tell you for absolute certainty that this is true but not just for the dialog. I have a friend who is eighty years young. She lives in a nursing home and I see her at least twice a week. I have been telling her about the books I’ve written and the one I’m working on currently. I read them to her as her sight is impaired. Let me tell you, that woman is my greatest resource. She gets enjoyment out of me doing this and when I am reading to her, it gives me a wealth of information about any areas that need to be polished. Laughing at all the right parts (most of the time) and being touched at other parts is valuable feedback that most people have to pay for. My friend is happy to do it for me and in a way, our relationship is symbiotic. She recently confessed to me that my current manuscript sounds better than the one before it and that’s one way I know my writing skills are improving. I am going to go back and take another look at that one to see how I can make it more compelling. Thank you TJ, I love ya honey!