Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How much dialog is too much? Can too much dialog ruin a good thing? A lot of the dialog in my first draft was simply info dumping put there to tell the reader some things they need to know. In other words it was awful. When I wrote it I thought it was needed, but after reading it I quickly said, "UGH! Who wrote that?" There was a lot of talking between my two characters. Same characters from yesterdays post. And I mean A LOT of talking. About stuff they would just normally know without saying. So how do you know when there is too much?

Maybe that's how I write my first draft. Mostly dialog. Now comes the cuttin'. And it's BRUTAL! The best way to write dialog is to keep it short, and real. And make the dialog bring the reader into the story not take them away from it. Hmm, any advice out there in blogosphere for this dialog crazed writer? :)


  1. No advice from me because I suffer the same problem! I could write pages and pages of dialogue for my characters and never get bored.

    I'd definitely be interested in any advice people give you through comments. I guess I'll have to keep checking in looking for the answer.

    Good Luck!

  2. Ah! I totally thought of you and this post today! I am reading a book called Fablehaven. It's got quite a bit of dialog--suffers a little from the "reveal everything through speech" syndrome, but in one of those speeches where they're talking about Big Important Things to the Plot, one character is making eggs. She gives a paragraph long bit of speech, and at the end says "Scrambled?"
    "What?" says the other character.
    "Your eggs."
    Then they go right back into long explanations of things. That little bit about the eggs made it totally work--it reminded me that these characters weren't sitting around talking, but were doing things as well. It made it seem much more real, just by bringing those few words in. Argh. I'm not explaining it well. Remind me to bring it to the next crit group meeting!


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