Monday, March 3, 2008

Say What? (Dialogue)

Being the straight-forward, get-right-to-the-point kind of gal that I am, I like to say what's going on (telling, of course) and get on to the next part of the story. I'm goal-oriented to a fault! So, as a result, I tend to forget to include dialogue! Instead of telling the reader what's happening, I should let the story come out through the dialogue. This will make the story and characters much richer. Of course, like many things, you can overdo it, too. If you have long, drawn-out speeches where the characters are relating every detail of the story, that's just as bad as having no dialogue at all.

Then there's the whole new set of problems that come with having dialogue.

  • How to make it sound natural? Picture the characters in your head, having the conversation. Is it something they'd say? Is it the way normal people talk? Is the timing right with the action going on around them?
  • Don't forget to make it clear who's saying what (without being annoying).
  • many different ways are there to say "said"?

Examine the dialogue in your story. Is there too much? Not enough? Is it just right?

1 comment:

Flip said...

" many different ways are there to say "said"? "

I laughed right out loud when I read this. I only wish I could get back the hours of my life spent staring at the screen trying to think of another way to say "said".

A few on my list:
Blabbed, blustered, chirped up, stammered, joined in, said, said, said, lol.