Wednesday, May 7, 2014

When Words Fail...

Books are more than a collection of dialogue between characters; if they consisted of one long-running conversation, it would be called a 'play'.  Just ask Willie Shakespeare if you don't believe me.

I enjoy dialogue, certainly.  I want to be privy to the loves and trials and friendships of the characters as much as the next reader, but I don't need constant talking, you know?  Sometimes I need quiet.  Thank goodness other writers need it as well, and this is where the descriptive word shines.  Through cleverly constructed descriptions, I have walked along the hills of Wales, eaten sumptuous meals with close friends in a Canadian village, and lived on a farm in Oklahoma.  Thanks to writers such as Rhys Bowen (author of the Constable Evans series), Louise Penny (her Inspector Gamache books are beyond amazing), and Donis Casey (you really need to meet her protagonist, Alafair Tucker), I've been all over this wonderful planet of ours.

Balancing dialogue and description can be a trifle tricky.  Although I have always liked Ernest Hemingway, I still would have liked more conversation in "Old Man and the Sea".  And overhearing a conversation or two - or even three -  isn't bad, but I'd prefer a tad more in the 'visual' department.  (Sorry, Ray Bradbury.)

So keep writing.  Eventually it will all come together for you.

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