One skill that I would love to hone as a writer is the ability to write witty banter. I am a big fan of classic movies from the 1930s and 40s. One of my favorite movies of all time does this to perfection - Bringing Up Baby, a Howard Hawks film from 1938 starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant. The story is about a wacky heiress who takes a liking to a mild mannered scientist and gets him involved when she is entrusted with the care of a leopard. Much madness ensues.
For those who haven't seen it, reading random quotes from the film doesn't do it justice, but here are a few of my favorite lines:
David Huxley - Now it isn't that I don't like you Susan, because, after all, in moments of quiet, I'm strangely drawn toward you, but - well, there haven't been any quiet moments.
David Huxley - (David tripped and sat on his hat): I might have known it was you. I had a feeling just as I hit the floor.
Susan Vance - That was your hat.
David Huxley - But Susan, you can't climb in a man's bedroom window!
Susan Vance - I know, it's on the second floor!
I highly recommend this movie as a case study for dialogue and pacing. And, I guarantee you'll laugh out loud at least a few times.