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Too much dialogue?


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#1 WritesToEscapeReality

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

OK something I am concerned about with my MG (and actually writing in general). Can there be too much dialogue?

I recently sent the first 50 pages of my MS to a few people to look at. Before I did it, I went through another read through and found I thought there was too much dialogue. So my question is this, is it better to move your story and give information through dialogue when you can or tell the story? For example, I initially had a long dialogue with the MC and his dad about the grade on his progress report. At first I had the whole scene in like 99% dialogue. Then, I started wondering if I have too much dialogue in my MS so I went and took part of the dialogue out and wrote as if the MC is stating what happens. I did this in a few areas because it seemed I had more dialogue than paragraphs.

So my question is can there be too much dialogue?
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#2 K McClelland

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:11 AM

Yes, there can be too much dialogue. I follow one agent on twitter who posted a month or so ago that he will reject a MS if there is too much dialogue, but he will reject if there isn't enough. I say find a good balance of both dialogue and story telling.
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#3 shawnrohrbach

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:16 PM

Yes, there can be too much dialogue. I follow one agent on twitter who posted a month or so ago that he will reject a MS if there is too much dialogue, but he will reject if there isn't enough. I say find a good balance of both dialogue and story telling.


I concur. There is nothing wrong with a character driven story, and we can develop character through dialogue, but we can develop that even better through some solid "show" narrative and action/description/narration can be stronger, albeit unspoken, dialogue.
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#4 Caterina

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:24 PM

There can be too much dialogue because IMO novels are written to paint a picture through words, but if most of it is talking -that takes away from the picture. There needs to be a balance. I tend to lean more on less dialogue purely because I want the reader to be in the story more than listen to folks yap.




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