My deception is based on dialogue, and two characters who each suspect the other of something terrible, but each are hiding secrets of their own. Trying to write their conversation makes my head hurt, because it's not just question and response, but what is character A not telling and what does character A think about character B that's not really true, but what can he say that will fit both what he knows and play into what character B believes about him, which also isn't really true. I ended up scribbling out two separate pages of what each one would want to say, and then tried to match them up like a puzzle. I've got it down now, but it's a pretty awkward conversation and will require much smoothening in a future draft.
In other news, I took quite the beatdown* in critique group this week from a CP who's having trouble with one of my character's dialogue. I do have a weakness for tossing in the random extremely formal line of dialogue--I think I read too much British lit when I was a kid. So at some point I'm going to have to go through the entire manuscript and highlight this character's lines to make sure his voice stays even.
Do you like writing dialogue? Got any good tricks for making it work?
*Not really a beatdown, I just like that word. It was more like bitter medicine--good for me, but still unpleasant to take.