Sunday, June 23, 2013

Writing Dialogue, Narrative, And Action

“He said”, or “she asked”, indicates who’s speaking.  Don’t force your reader to re-read and figure out who's saying what, especially when several characters are conversing.

When using direct dialogue; it sets the scene, advances plot, reminds the reader, shows who the characters are and reflects the theme. Dialogue does many things at once.
     “You’re right,” Jay said, as he switched off his speaker phone.
     Anna drove into Jay’s circular drive.  She saw him inside leave the front windows and step outside to greet her.
     “It’s great to see you again Anna,” Jay said.  “I’m happy you came down.”
     “It’s wonderful to see you Jay,” Anna said.  “It hasn’t been that long since I was here.”
     Anna stepped out of her car and faced Jay.

Dialogue changes with challenge between characters, gives each word purpose and sets the tone.  When opening a scene, dialogue challenges can effectively increase the reader’s interest.  Plot rather than character driven stories; generally use dialogue with action, showing and moving the story quickly with less narrative.
     “You’ll be leaving right away?” Leo asked.
     “Yes my cousin Anna is on her way down; so I will shop for a few groceries,” the Commander said.  “After we have lunch we can come to the Post.  You can show her our new additions Leo, she will like that."

Narrative can tell character emotion, feelings and describe when needed.  Narrative summery tells and without a lot of detail transitions to the next scene. 

Decide when to show or tell; characters emotions and feelings, to engage readers in the experience. 
     Slow diving through the strange thick fog for over an hour, brought her out into a thin mist that sparkled with gold sun streaks.  Anna felt a sweep of relief; finally she had navigated out of the strange fog.    

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