Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Dial D for Dialogue
As a longtime writer, I have always believed that the heart of a story is crisp, right to the point dialogue.
I am all for strong narrative, description, scenery, thoughts, and other elements that make for a great novel. However, what comes out of the mouths of characters can make or break the book.
For instance, if your protagonist just goes on and on while saying little of substance, it can definitely weigh down the novel and cause the plot to drag.
On the other hand, if a character has something worth saying, that can be said in as few words as possible while still moving the story along, then that will hold the attention of the reader and give the writer something to build on.
Beyond that, I enjoy hearing what people have to say in fiction, as opposed to telling us what they are doing and thinking. I believe this breathes life into any plot and make the characters seem real. The latter is especially true when the dialogue comes from the heart or soul of character and is spoken in real language rather than scripted words as is often found in screenplays and teleplays.
Do you prefer more or less dialogue as a writer or reader?