Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dialogue or description?

by Rick Blechta

My turn — and there’s not a lot of time for me to write anything today due to work, so this will have to be brief. (Blechta being brief? Who’d a thunk it?)

I don’t know if I’m different from other writers in this — and I don’t remember ever having discussed this with any other of my colleagues, but it dawned on me recently that I have far less trouble writing dialogue than description. I can waste hours trying to describe what a person or a room or, well, anything looks like, whereas I can fire off an extended bit of dialogue almost as fast as I can type it. The interesting addition to this is that my dialogue needs far less editing than my description, both by me in the “refining” stages and by editors.

So I have a question for all you writer-types. Which is easier for you: dialogue or description? For all the non-writers out there, which of the two do you prefer reading? (And I’m not talking about description that is self-indulgent and goes on far too long in too much detail.)

And that’s all, folks, for this week. I’ll be back with much more of substance next Tuesday. Feel free to drop by!


Sybil Johnson said...

Dialog is definitely much easier for me to write. I often start with it and, as I'm writing, the rest of the scene becomes clearer in my mind.

Eileen Goudge said...

Sounds like you have a second career as a screenwriter in your future, Rick. I'm pretty comfortable with both dialogue and description. I find dialogue flows faster when it's natural to the ear (as in when I speak it aloud). Only times I get bogged down are when I'm trying to convey too much with dialogue - rookie mistake - then I know it's time to regroup and rethink.

Rick Blechta said...

I always speak all my dialogue aloud. You pick up so much, even though dialogue isn't completely analogous to real speaking between people. Once you have your ear attuned to “written speaking”, the spots where it doesn't work just leaps out at you. Time to rewrite!