Iain asked L.E. Modesitt Jr.:

I like the way you use the characters good hearing to pick up mutterings that explain a situation or enhance a dialogue. It's often said that writing good dialogue is the hardest thing for an author to do and I wondered whether this technique came naturally to you or evolved with practice ?

L.E. Modesitt Jr. I've always liked to talk, and one of my worst habits is to do so far too much. When I finally learned to listen, strangely enough, the dialogue I wrote seemed to improve. That was the result of practice in listening as much, if not more, as in writing.

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