I’ve emerged from my NaNo fog to grab a breath of fresh air. Truthfully, I’m taking a break from my characters’ angst. They’ve been arguing off and on ever since the beginning of the story and I’m getting a little fed up with them.
There’s a lot to be said for dialogue — useful exchanges — in writing. Coincidentally (or not… you never know), my e-mail subscription to Jessica Morrell’s monthly newsletter arrived this morning and in it she starts right out discussing the merits of dialogue.
“We use dialogue for many reasons, but the mains ones are:
- It advances action in the story and visually breaks up the page, thus attracting the reader’s eye.
- Dialogue is fast moving and readers appreciate the quick pace and sense of being there.
- Dialogue is more memorable than narration and is often a power struggle or power exchange.
- The writer can insert opinions other than her own when people start talking.
- Dialogue and conversations are crucial elements to the rhythm of a story.
- Dialogue reveals a character’s background, social status, and education and it can quickly and painlessly deliver essential information.
“…. It demonstrates conflict, pushes the story forward, provides or summarizes information, comments on actions and place, and reveals characters, emotions and character’s relationships. In other words, dialogue plays a vital, starring role in every piece of fiction.
“However, it’s single most important role is to reveal the uniqueness of character.”
[Jessica Page Morrell – November 2009]
What does dialogue reveal about my characters? I’m off to have a look at the story and see. It also won’t hurt to check if I’m making good use of their dialogue or just filling up pages to add to my NaNo word count. (Did I say that? I would never do that!) 😉
[Graphic: MS Office online]