The Roadhouse
It's simple. Come in here, get reviews, read good stories, meet interesting people. What's not to love? Open to all. Rock and roll.
New Follow Forum Follow Topic
A Fire Rose

How much is too much? How do you break it up? How do you keep it interesting? Do you enjoy a lot od dialogue, or not so much?

10/14/2011 #1

It depends, really... Usually, I don't like reading too much dialogue. To me, stories with a lot of dialogue and not much description kind of feel empty sometimes. I usually add some description on the characters' actions whilst their talking so that people have a clearer image of the scene. But like I said, it depends. If your characters are having a casual conversation, then it's best to use less description. Buuut if it's an emotional scene where a character dies or something, it's a really good idea to add more descriptions on the character's facial expressions/feelings.

To me, too much dialogue can seem too casual and empty. But not enough dialogue can make a story seem a bit... heavy. You know, those type of stories where you just want to skim over the paragraphs so that you can get to the important bits.

But yeah, I hope that helped. :)

10/14/2011 #2
A Fire Rose

Thanks! I appreciate that response! I see what you mean :-)

10/15/2011 #3

I like to use dialogue to help advance the plot or define characters. For example, instead of saying "She felt really nervous", I might include dialogue:

"Are you sure we should be doing this?" she asked. "Absolutely sure?"

"Positive. What could go wrong?" he said.

"The mind reels."

10/15/2011 #4

I find it quite difficult! I used to be terrible and find my stories were basically scripts, and now I've gone too far the other way, with unnecessary gestures, movements, and descriptions in between lines of dialogue. I need help/tips lol!

10/20/2011 #5
A Fire Rose

Man, I understand that. I'm the opposite, though -- Almost all my stories are loaded with imagery. The last one I published and the one I'm working on are a little lecturous in their diaglogue. Which stories are you struggling with? I'll take a look.

10/21/2011 #6

For me, what's important is oftentimes how a character says something. If characters have their own unique voice and speech patterns, they'll seem richer and more autonomous. A character's unique voice can help guide the plot by telling you how they want to go about their interactions with people, and it helps set a mood for the story. It keeps things from feeling like a bunch of talking heads.

5/19/2012 #7
Loraine Wentworth

I agree- a character should have their own voice. I find it quite difficult to create that, though. I try and make their usual choice of word types reflect their personality. I try not to use too much 'accent' and 'dialect' as sometimes in fantasy stories it can come off sounding pretty fake and annoying.

7/24/2012 #8
Richard S. O'Day

Yeah, I find dialogue can be hard sometimes. In my story I have six main characters, and it is really hard to make them sound different and give them different personalities. This is one of the biggest problems I have and why it takes me so long to write new chapters.

7/25/2012 #9

It helps if the characters have play different roles and have different motivations within your story. If each character's dialogue is coming from a unique place in their lives (one character an obsessed honors student trying to make the grade, another character a wise mentor trying to assist the hero), then it'll be easier to keep it all separate. Make sure every character serves a purpose and has a reason to be there; that's my best advice.

7/27/2012 #10

I think it's good to have a balance. Have dialogue, have descriptions - just don't let them override each other unless you feel it's necessary. Some people have problems with dialogue, others with descriptions.

I have a problem in dialogue. Or at least I feel like I do. I won't say I've totally mastered descriptions, because I haven't, but I think I have a better hold on it than dialogue :P

9/11/2012 #11

Ultimately we're (the author) the choreographer of the scene. Work it as if you are seeing a play, and what you focus on more, it's your POV.

9/21/2012 #12
A Fire Rose

I have a much easier time with descriptions, too :-)

Carson -- Ooh! Someone else with a bunch of main characters! Sweet. I have seven, so I understand. I spend a lot of time trying to construct their personalities to make them sound different. But I have noticed that while a couple of them thrive on dialogue to reveal their personalities, a couple of them are best revealed when by themselves. Makes it a challenge!

10/5/2012 #13
Kay Iscah

It really depends on the story and style I'm writing it. I switch up styles more than most authors, I think...

Usually dialogue comes pretty quickly for me. Sometimes I'll write that out first and then go back to fill in descriptions.

You can get away with more dialogue if the dialogue itself is descriptive and moves the story forward. "Egads, he's got a sword!"

I tend to build my stories out of sequence. For instance I may come up with a really perfect line for a scene several chapters away...I'll write that line down and come back to it later. When I think what my characters are saying is boring or unimportant, I'll opt for a summary: They kept arguing or they discussed options or something of that nature.

1/5/2013 #14
Loraine Wentworth

Something that often confuses me in stories is a lack of speech qualifiers- e.g. he said, she said. While I can understand that these break up the flow of speech, without them I quickly lose track of who is speaking.

I'm not very good at writing summaries of speech- something I need to work on.

1/7/2013 #15
Forum Moderators: Dolvich Mi.Ishi
  • Forums are not to be used to post stories.
  • All forum posts must be suitable for teens.
  • The owner and moderators of this forum are solely responsible for the content posted within this area.
  • All forum abuse must be reported to the moderators.
Membership Length: 2+ years 1 year 6+ months 1 month 2+ weeks new member