Don’t be afraid (of dialogue)


Dialogue used to freak me out.

I thought it was a bit of jerk.

I wrote my stories with minimal dialogue and it worked, for a time.  The problem with a lack of dialogue is stories tend to get thick and dense pretty fast.  Now thick and dense isn’t always a bad thing, but sometimes it’s good to mix it up.

So I held my breath and dove into the world of dialogue.  I started with just dialogue, nothing more, no descriptions, just simple back and forth between two characters.  I loved it.  It flowed, the characters developed themselves and I found it an absolute joy to write.  After my fudge-thick dialogue free stories it felt effervescent to write in pure conversation.  After that, I wrote another dialogue-only story.  Interestingly, both stories took a turn into the comedic (which I didn’t know I could even accomplish).  This was quite a change from the more moody and dark stories I had been working on before.  So not only did my experimentation lead me to a new found interest in dialogue, but it also led me to an understanding that I can, in fact, write something mildly funny!

Next it was onto a more integrated approach.  I wanted to write something that included both dialogue and non-dialogue descriptions.  I had my doubts about my ability in this department too.  Would it flow well?  Would it feel natural?  The story took a little while to develop (see: Let your story stew) but once I got to writing, it just poured out onto the page as though it had always been there.  It was exciting and I got to know my characters in a way I wasn’t entirely used to.  I got a chance to hear their voices.

Overall I was so inspired by this process that I have decided to pursue thoughts on a new novel.  My last book (sitting unedited on my computer) had little in the way of dialogue for the most part (it is a book of short stories and I only started experimenting more with dialogue half way through).  Now that I have developed a new perspective on conversation in writing I feel as though I am ready to give a longer format story another try.

Dialogue used to freak me out, but now I think it’s awesome. 

What are you afraid of?  Do you ever wonder if your fear is holding you back from a style you might love?  From stories that are waiting to be told?  Take your fears and give them a kick in the butt.  Write something you have always wanted to try.  Do it now!

Have you done it yet?  Great, let me know how it went!

One thought on “Don’t be afraid (of dialogue)

  1. Pingback: Love Your Dialogue | Happy Musings

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