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  1. #1

    A Couple of Questions

    Hi Everyone,

    I haven't been on WN for...gee...over a year (I just visited again yesterday), and I noticed the post about "Opening Lines."

    I notice a lot of people still narrate their books, especially their opening lines. Instead, I start out with a character saying something. However, I find that the further I write without narration, the more I really lose connection with the story (such as, "What's going on? Where am I going?"). So my questions are: Why narrate? Can't the characters do all the talking and "tell" the story for me from their eyes and mind?

    I think I already know the answer. To NOT narrate means the lost of policing and supervising the story as well as explaining complex issues, correct?

    Somehow, the narration portion (e.g.: "He walked down the cold lifeless hall") never entered my writing style :-\.

    Oh, I posted some info about Gary Kessler about two webpages back although I've no idea what happened to him (or anyone here since I just came back to WN yesterday :-)).

    Again, nice to still see some familiar names here!

    Thanks for the replies.

  2. #2
    Lindi Hobbs

    Re: A Couple of Questions

    If it's allll action, dialogue and the ever vaunted "white-space," I think the characters lose a lot of their internal life. However, I try to do my telling through the character's pov, rather than the writer's, so while there is introspection, it doesn't read like a history book.

  3. #3
    M T

    Re: A Couple of Questions

    Hi Pete! We haven't met, I've only been around for about nine months, so Hi!

    I tend to write more narration in my books, but I really love well written dialogue. I'm trying to teach myself how to do it. I like dialogue because it gives the reader a real feel for the character, for what is in his/her head. Sheer Gyn; another WN'er, is the best I've ever seen at writing dialogue. I read some of his book and WOW! Every character has their own unique voice, each one is distinctly male or female, mean or kind, whatever he wants to show, its there in the dialogue. The characters even interupt each other, sometimes they speak at the same time. I hope to write dialogue like that ... one day ... one day....

  4. #4

    Re: A Couple of Questions

    Hi Pete, There should be a balance of both. Too much narration tends to overdo the tell vs show. BTW, Gary has been on vacation and will be back eventually. Rgds., Kaz

  5. #5
    Kane Faucher

    Re: A Couple of Questions

    It depends on where you see your text going. I have read some very gripping texts without one hint of dialogue (!). The "right mix" is not etched in stone; let the strengths of your text shine through and take you where it wants to go. No sense forcing the chariot horses down a bleak and narrow path at the expense of finding a new and exciting vista through fortuitous chance and elan vital. I have seen instances where dialogue has detracted from the general narration, or when it seems particularly "tacked on" post facto. I have tried in my more recent works to only include dialogue when absolutely necessary (as in, there is something specifically essential and witty that I want as an exchange between two or more characters). I am leaning more toward introspection and navel-gazing madness in the text, trying to reflect some of the text's more "mirror quality" viz. my experience with theory. I am also trying to master the art of balancing very complex and multiplicitous events in a single space; that is, juggling the movements, thoughts, and effects of several characters and non-characters in a single time frame. It is sort of akin to conducting and synchronizing an elaborate chaotic dance with some semblance of reason underpinning the whole event. Well, I'm rambling. It must be the root canal, whiskey and codeine. Cheerio!

  6. #6

    The problem I have

    I'm torn between: This book containing plenty of dialogue and character acting and looks more like a screenplay! I know, I'll write a screenplay!

    So I write a screenplay. And then of course I encounter another problem: This looks more like a DIRECTOR'S SCREENPLAY (description, settings, POV, "camera angles," character personalities, gestures, costumes, and so forth). I'm not a film director and this is not how screenwriters write. I know, I'll write a book that incorporates all these aspects!

    AAAARRRRGH!!! I feel I'm always writing like a film director 8-9!

    Thanks for the advice, I'll try for balance and incorporate more narration.


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