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Writing dialogue  becomes especially challenging when you are putting words into the mouth a character of a different gender, age, time period, or social class. In that light, a recent NPR story about language usage is worth a read or listen.

A psychologist analyzed how people use what he calls function words. One of the most surprising findings is a word seldom used by the person in power in a relationship, I. Yet another thing to keep in mind when creating characters’ conversations.

One warning: This story made me rather self-conscious when I sent e-mails. (Dang, there’s that pronoun.)

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