Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dialogue in your story

Sometimes as writers, we struggle with dialogue in our stories. Is the dialogue in our story boring, an info dump, or does it move the action along like it’s supposed to?  “Not all dialogue is created equal.” That’s what Jan Fields writes on her post, “Diagnosis Dialogue,” on the Institute of Children’s Literature blog. She addresses the different types of dialogue, the problem, and the diagnosis. She gives examples as well. Interesting post. 

In the book that I’m reading, Writing Tools, by Roy Peter Clark, one chapter devoted to dialogue begins with, “Use dialogue as a form of action. Dialogue advances narrative; quotes delay it.” Another great line in that chapter: “… dialogue defines a story because its power drags us to the scene and sets our ears to the action.”

What I like to do once I’m finished with a chapter or the story itself, is to go over the dialogue on the pages, highlighting it in blue to see if there is too much on the page or not enough. I also check to see if it is moving the action forward. What about you?

“The biggest mistake a writer can make is not taking the time to fully understand the publications, publishing houses, or literary agents she queries.” – Writing Tip from Writer’s Digest Weekly Planner

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