24 April 2011

Dialogue Domination

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I read recently that the three elements of writing are narration, dialogue and description.

I'm beginning to think I write like a scriptwriter. When I quickly write down scenes as the muse strikes, it's nearly all dialogue. It's only later I put description or narration in, to illuminate more about what a character is doing or feeling. Because I can see everything in my head, and hear the words being spoken, I don't feel the need to write anything but the dialogue to get the essence of the scene. Now that other people are reading my work and I'm able to step back a bit, I've realised this is one of my weaknesses. Even though I've tried to flesh things out, sometimes I haven't done enough. My readers can't imagine my world in the detail I can, so I have to provide that detail.

I find this challenging, because the other thing I struggle with is the old 'show don't tell'. I'd thought I'd done a good job of 'showing' with the dialogue. What, you mean I now have to go back and do some telling? I know, I know, I'm supposed to do more showing... but that's really hard for me, when I feel like I've already shown everything and this is really just prettying up the dialogue.

Which of the three elements come the most naturally to you? How do you write in a hurry when you're inspired?

P.S. I've looked at the word "dialogue" so many times while writing this, the word has gone kinda funny. Dia-log-gew... isn't it strange? In the end I googled it to double-check I was spelling it right!

1 comment:

  1. I think description comes best to me - I usually have a hard time with dialogue.

    btw - I also think words start sounding weird when I've said or thought them too often.