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Make sure you have the checkbox to commit the value turned on for the OK button (or whatever button you're using to continue the script) in your custom dialog settings. Otherwise the value entered will not be saved.
Data entry via show custom dialog is very limited as to the options that you can select. If all you want is 1 to 3 simple edit boxes for direct entry of data and no immediate error checking on the input, a custom dialog suffices so you might not need to make any changes here.
But there are other options that allow you to bring in the full tool box of layout design, validation and script triggers into use if you need them. (Say, to put a value list on that input box--which can't be done in a custom dialog.)
A popover can make a very easy to implement alternative to a custom dialog.
New window can open either a floating document or modular window to take the place of a custom dialog.