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Too much Dialouge in chapters/paragraphs

S J Lee

Remember that context gives dialogue meaning. Even mundane dialogue can be brilliant in the RIGHT CONTEXT. You create the context, the power is YOURS!

"Mike. We got milk?"
Mike opened the fridge. There were only a pair of mouldy tomatoes. "Nope. Fresh out."
is this BAD? What are you trying to do? Show us they are poor Joe Schmos? Ok, then.


"Mike. We got milk?"
Mike opened the fridge. There were only a pair of mouldy severed human heads. "Nope. Fresh out."
A completely different impact, same short dialogue. SHOWING me they are crazy cannibal serial killers, not TELLING me what they are.

Don't make the dialogue long without knowing WHY you are making it so. If it is genuinely funny, that is enough. "You know what they call a quarter-pounder with cheese in Paris?" But the punchline will NEED to be funny.

If you have something profound to say, and it needs long dialogue to say it, that is fine too. But check carefully that it IS profound, and that it cannot be done any other way. Eg, Socrates' dialogues.

Check out lots of stuff like this on Youtube. Easy and free to understand... then apply it to yourself. Learn a little every day.

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S J Lee

English teacher for 10 or 20 dollars an hour
Yeesh. I know nothing negative was meant here, but one who can teach one of the world's most difficult languages really ought to get paid better than that! :)

HA HA HA! I'm an English teacher myself..... if the shoe fits.....

But seriously, a lot of well-educated people would be open to this pay rate on the side...

Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars

S J Lee

Also, a good question is what sort of patterns would or should i look for?

Sorry, didn't answer this.
just MY thoughts:
don't repeat the same sentence structure all the time, in dialogue OR outside dialogue.

Look at my own changes to my "Beyond Stone and Water" critique thread. Is the amended version on third page better than the original one?

My original version had a lot of "She xx. She xx. She xx" - I think I have fixed that now...? It sneaked in and I was blind to it. That happens a lot to writers until they are very experienced. Hence, readers.

Mike went to the window. He looked out. The Black car was still there. Mike began to worry.
Going to the window, Mike looked out. The black car remained. Something is wrong.

Maybe the second one is better? Basically, all patterns are "good", but vary how a sentence starts, and vary the sentence length.


I admit I do find it hard with structure and knowing what is important, as I might think something is important while others not, as some simple exchange between Raein and Conlan, while it may not seem to have any consequences it could just be a simple way someone speaks to someone they've known for ages. I mean this start was a total rewrite cause the original didn't start with any sort of action to some while I thought it fit well. I think it's hard finding the right way to start something, I do find it hard to just write when I worry about something that will get changed which then changes the whole story which has happened basically with this new start haha but also cause I want to try and get it pretty well off right away so there is only small changes.

Silly i know.
Too much dialogue...hmm that is tricky.

Is the dialogue chit chatty and so a bit boring to read. Is it giving a ton of information about the story to the point it's obvious like the "maid and butler" dialogue. Without reading it for myself, it's very hard to say whether it's too much or not.
I am a big fan of dialogue. It's typically showing, not telling (when done properly). There are of course some caveats, such as dialogue that doesn't add to character development, ambiance or plot.


toujours gai, archie
Famous example is from The Friends of Eddie Coyle, which opens with almost nothing but dialogue. It's tricksy to handle. IMO, the writer who can do it well is simply a good writer and will handle exposition equally well.