Make sure the parts when the characters speak are lively.
A Study in Scarlet
The First Meeting (Chapters 1 & 2)
Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes meet for the first time. Stamford is a friend of both men and thinks they could move in together and share a flat.
(…) "Here we are, and you must form your own impressions about him." As [Stamford] spoke, we turned down a narrow lane and passed through a small side-door, which opened into […] the chemical laboratory.
This was a lofty chamber, lined and littered with countless bottles. Broad, low tables were scattered about, which bristled with retorts, test-tubes, and little Bunsen lamps, with their blue flickering flames. There was only one student in the room, who was bending over a distant table absorbed in his work. At the sound of our steps he glanced round and sprang to his feet with a cry of pleasure. "I've found it! I've found it," he shouted to my companion, running towards us with a test-tube in his hand. "I have found a re-agent which is precipitated by haemoglobin, and by nothing else." […]
"Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes," said Stamford, introducing us.
"How are you?" [Holmes] said cordially, gripping my hand with a strength for which I should hardly have given him credit. "You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive."
"How on earth did you know that?" I asked in astonishment.
"Never mind," said he, chuckling to himself. "The question now is about haemoglobin. No doubt you see the significance of this discovery of mine?"
"It is interesting, chemically, no doubt," I answered, "but practically——"
[He showed me his experiment]
"Ha! ha!" he cried, clapping his hands, and looking as delighted as a child with a new toy. "What do you think of that?"
"It seems to be a very delicate test," I remarked. […]
"We came here on business," said Stamford, sitting down on a high three-legged stool, and pushing another one in my direction with his foot. "My friend here wants to take diggings, and as you were complaining that you could get no one to go halves with you, I thought that I had better bring you together."
Sherlock Holmes seemed delighted at the idea of sharing his rooms with me. "I have my eye on a suite in Baker Street," he said, "which would suit us down to the ground. You don't mind the smell of strong tobacco, I hope?"
"I always smoke 'ship's' myself," I answered.
"That's good enough. I generally have chemicals about, and occasionally do experiments. Would that annoy you?"
"By no means."
"Let me see—what are my other shortcomings. I get in the dumps at times, and don't open my mouth for days on end. You must not think I am sulky when I do that. Just let me alone, and I'll soon be right. What have you to confess now? It's just as well for two fellows to know the worst of one another before they begin to live together."
I laughed at this cross-examination. "I keep a bull pup," I said, "and I object to rows because my nerves are shaken, and I get up at all sorts of ungodly hours, and I am extremely lazy. […]
"I think we may consider the thing as settled [he cried, with a merry laugh] —that is, if the rooms are agreeable to you."
"When shall we see them?"
"Call for me here at noon to-morrow, and we'll go together and settle everything," he answered.
"All right—noon exactly," said I, shaking his hand.
We left him working among his chemicals, and we walked together towards my hotel.
"By the way," I asked suddenly, stopping and turning upon Stamford, "how the deuce did he know that I had come from Afghanistan?"
My companion smiled an enigmatical smile. "That's just his little peculiarity," he said. "A good many people have wanted to know how he finds things out."
"Oh! a mystery is it?" I cried, rubbing my hands." […] "Good-bye," I [said], and strolled on to my hotel, considerably interested in my new acquaintance.
CHAPTER II. THE SCIENCE OF DEDUCTION.
We met next day as he had arranged, and inspected the rooms at No. 221b, Baker Street, of which he had spoken at our meeting. […]
Holmes was certainly not a difficult man to live with. He was quiet in his ways, and his habits were regular. It was rare for him to be up after ten at night […]. Sometimes he spent his day at the chemical laboratory, sometimes in the dissecting-rooms, and occasionally in long walks […]. On [some] occasions I have noticed such a dreamy, vacant expression in his eyes, that I might have suspected him of being addicted to the use of some narcotic […].
A Study in Scarlet (1887) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (adapted and abridged)