Friday, January 9, 2009

Dialogue vs Narration

I frustrated myself this morning whilst writing in "Queen and Assassin" -- the 1000+ words I wrote were mostly dialogue. Now, I am not a proponent of long paragraphs of narrative, or overly flowery descriptions. Since I skip long, unbroken paragraphs when I read, I try not to to write them.

On the other hand, dialogue alone is not always enough to carry the scene. And, though I didn't want to slow down, go back and put more narrative in, I really needed to because I was having a hard time picturing what was going on. It wasn't as though my four characters (five, if you count the animal) were standing in a circle, perfectly motionless, and talking. I needed to really SEE the scene.

Still, it was terribly difficult. I do find that I tend to lean one way or the other as I write a first draft, and then must go back to add whatever is missing. What about you? Do you lean toward more narrative or more dialogue in your first draft? What do you find more difficult to write?

With the addition of this morning's words, my total for JaNoWriMo is:


Dru said...

WTG on adding over a thousand words to your story.

Ceri Hebert said...

I'm 50/50, I can write both, though I find that I do get carried away with the narrative and the descriptions. I really want to get into the scene, but it has to mean something (or I'd skip over it too).

I'd go back and fill it in. It'll just add to your word count (which is awesome) right?

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I usually lean heavily on dialogue, which isn't surprising, since I'm a yacker by personality, as you've probably guessed. ;-)

I've been surprised, though, that both have been coming through this time.

My main problem with RDs are long tracks of back story and too much "explaining".

Joanie said...

I do dialogue a lot for my first draft, too. Don't stress, just know that all things are improved once the revisions start. But this isn't the time for revision. Keep with your progress. You're doing a great job.

Keri Mikulski said...

Great question.. Way more dialogue.. And I tend to forget about description. :)

edeevee said...

I usually struggle with this same problem. I learned a LOT about establishing setting -- and especially TIME -- during the revision process for GGG.

In an effort to avoid the pain of rewriting/reorganizing whole story lines to make them fit, I'm trying to be more conscious of those kind of things this time around. (Who knew editors wouldn't go for six week long months?)

OTOH, sometimes you just gotta get some words on the screen. You're doing great with that!