Tag Archives: dialogue

He said, She said

I took too many days off writing. I think I can definitely count 4 days where I did not add one word to my novel. This is bad. I didn’t even blog. The only thing I did was some research, which I don’t know if it can really count towards my novel.

But today, I sat down after dinner and I wrote until the sun went down. I finally introduced the hero! I’ve had the heroine going along the path to meet the hero. I struggled to wait until the right moment and it has finally come.

What I noticed today in my writing, is that its hard for me to describe the actions or body language of my characters. I can see them doing the motions, but I cant write them down. Its come out something like this “she placed her right hand next to the phone on her desk and picked up the receiver swiftly with her left hand”.

I don’t remember reading another author note which hand the character is using and exactly where it is going. I don’t think I even notice the body language descriptions because they are so well written that they are just part of the story. But when I write these descriptions, it sounds like painstaking detail with no life.

In addition to this description problem, I’m writing “he said” and “she said” a lot lately. I’ve been keeping my eye on this because I know this can be a trap. Either you write “he/she said” too much where it becomes distracting or you use too make verbs: “He barked/yelled/stammered…” you know what I mean. Or what might be worse “he asked” and “she replied.” My previous research showed that its better to use “he said/she said” instead of using other verbs because the body language should to the telling rather than the verbs. This is great, but these descriptions aren’t going so well for me at the moment.

I need to work on my supporting action for the dialogue. The body language and “she/he said” stuff doesn’t flow well.

Progress so far:

  • 65 pages
  • still working on chapter 7
  • hero has made his entrance

Novel writing tip of the day:

  • Keep your discipline!!!

This isn’t a new one. All professional writers say that you must write everyday and they generally agree that you need to make a certain time everyday to write. This wasn’t working for me so I created my own rule “write 10 pages per week”. I don’t yet know if I will make this goal by next monday, but I wrote 4 pages today which I hope makes up for the 4 days I took off. I feel guilty. So I need to be more disciplined! I need to be my own Drill Sargent and get myself and my characters into written action.

I will write 10 pages this week and the weeks thereafter!


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Dialogue vs. Narrative debate

So after writing yesterday’s post, I did some research last night. I hoped that I would find some inspiration, maybe some advice and maybe I would feel better about Chapter 2.

Searching the online word, I cam across a blog on the topic of dialogue vs. narrative, which made sense to me. What I took from it, is that you can use dialogue to expose the personalities of the characters and to show the action. You can use narrative to fill in all the information that the characters “can’t” or “shouldn’t” talk about.

Today, I re-read what I wrote and added a bit more narrative and inserted three different dialogues. I hope that I have a good balance now. I think I have covered most of the background that was needed to get into the story now.

I’m not sure I’m very happy with it, but I will see how I feel after I’ve written more.

Progress so far:

  • 20 pages
  • balanced out the narrative and dialogue in Chapter 2

I have met my 10-page quota for this week, which I feel is good progress even though I don’t feel I’m being as disciplined as I could. I’m not writing a certain number of hours or pages per day which I’ve heard many people recommend. But I will keep working away at chapter 2.

And so it continues…

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Back Track

I’ve decided to go back and re-read and re-write parts of Chapter 2 as necessary. I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not. But I figured that its better to go back to check it out rather than to keep writing on a tangent that might not be good. I found one gap where I think some more information about one of the main characters and about the few weeks of time I skipped could be covered.

So as the day is drawing to a close, I hope that tomorrow brings more progress as my page count still stands at 17.

What I’m wondering now is, is my writing becoming too descriptive rather than focusing on the action? I feel like there should be some description in the beginning to get it rolling. But can how can you write a story without having paragraphs of narration rather than dialogue?

That’s my problem: narration versus dialogue? When should you use one and when should you use the other?


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