Monday, June 27, 2011

No talking heads, please

Dialogue brings a story and characters to life, action creates movement, and narrative gives story depth and substance. Weave all three in your writing and you're golden!



My recent a-ha moment brought me back to Dialogue and the awesome book above.  
Some pointers:
  • No talking heads--make sure your characters are moving within the scene. Think motion-picture. Swoop in for the close-up and widen that lens to give the reader a more holistic picture of events.
  • Characters should always have a purpose in a scene.
  • When you find a long dialogue scene in your MS put yourself in your MC's head (thoughts and observations). Strategically place that information where the tension isn't interrupted.
  • Write a scene all dialogue, then all narrative, then all action and weave 'em together. 
Happy writing!



6 comments:

  1. No talking heads. Ha! You had me on the title. Thanks for the great reminders. Sometimes it's hard to remember great dialogue shapes the story.

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  2. Definitely good advice. I also find it helps to read the dialogue out loud (although the dog looks at me funny) b/c then you realize if it's too stilted or there aren't any contractions or any number of the other things I do!

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  3. Thanks Emily. I love a good title!

    Brenda, thanks for that tidbit. It does help.

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  4. That's a fun exercise. I recently had to write a play, and this was how I felt. Stripped of narrative and having to focus first on dialogue and then action to make sure both were happening at the same time.
    It's evolutions baby.

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  5. LOL Tanya, yeah. It is a good exercise. Thanks for commenting Christine.

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