1. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    No Dialogue, all action. Good or bad?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CraniumInsanium, Jan 18, 2014.

    I think that's the best way to describe the horror short I'm currently writing. In a nutshell guy has hallucinations about a specific thing, which increase their intensity until the climax.

    Or instead of beating around the bush, Harry our MC is showering and sees holes of darkness in his bathroom instead of normal walls and paint. The next time they appear they affect Harry's soundings(the bathroom) more until he is completely immersed in that world.

    I've broken the story up into three encounters, and its currently 2758 words. There isn't much dialogue, but I've been working on filling in the times "between encounters" with daily life and such. This is meant to be a short, and at 10 pages I'm not sure how big I want it to get. Of course I realize I should totally open up the throttle on my imagination and cut loose. But its a story about a guy who is seeing portals to somewhere else and being pulled into them. Short, direct and impactful is what I'm aiming for here.

    Help?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Dialogue should serve a purpose, not just appear for filler. It's a short story. If dialogue doesn't contribute materially to the story, leave it out.
     
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  3. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    Hmm, okay thanks. Something about a story with almost no dialogue felt a bit taboo.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's common to short stories, while it doesn't work well in a novel...

    I'm puzzled about 'soundings'... does that mean something I'm missing, or is it a typo for 'surroundings'?

    re length, I'd strongly suggest keeping the total to 5k or less, as that's the upper limit for most publications... unless, of course, you're writing it to be a self-published 3-story, in which case word count doesn't seem to matter...
     
  5. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    Oops, yea typo. Meant to say surroundings lol.

    I was gonna put it on an e-publisher.....eventually....thing is I always have so many dang ideas popping up I usually bounce back and forth unless I'm really hyped about something. Then I do that no matter what. Most of em sadly stay in the rough draft phase until I remember them. And they hover between the 5-10k word mark.
     
  6. Who
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    Who Member

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    I think that I mostly agree with Cogito. However, I think the most effective way you could convey 'normal life' is through dialogue. I don't know the details of who this character is but that would be very important to my ability to delve into the story and for it to become a more horrific story. Give him people he cares about or things he enjoys doing outside of the story. This way when the encounters occur there is a sense that something is on the line.

    Horror can be a bit scary for horror sake but it is much scarier when the main character can be related to. There is a sense that the story COULD be real, and that's important. Use dialogue to convey character and his surroundings, give it some realism in-between the horrific surrealism that you seem to be going for.

    Who
     
  7. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Have you ever read HP Lovecraft? Very few of his stories have dialog.
     
  8. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I think dialogue is used for the here and now. Like: "We can go?" "Maybe later." "Well this sucks." I think.
     
  9. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    I feel a bit more enlightened now. Honestly. I know that's a cheesy reply, but when I read through it I'm giving myself chills, which I find badass. I've actually haven't read much in the way of classics in a LONG time, which is sad, I know. I've actually just about gotten the second draft done, so I'll pop the first half so you guys can see where I'm kinda heading. It's called "The Dark Passage".
     
  10. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I also feel very strongly that it comes down to personal style as well. All of my writing is overwhelmingly dialogue-driven.
     
  11. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    Correction. gotta wait till I get privileges back. That's what I get for being an offline goof :p

    All in all, dialogue is a great thing. Narration is also great. There's a couple of parts where he's thinking in his head, but my main concern is that its encounter one! Then all was well, going about this and that. Then one day ENCOUNTER TWO!!! And so on. It feels okayish, but I think it might need a tad more meat. Why I'm curious from a readers perspective on it.
     
  12. novemberjuliet
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    novemberjuliet Member

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    I think dialogue relates that character to the reader. A lot of writers have a style that permits them to use minima or no dialogue but if you're writing a story that's character driven, I think some dialogue or potraying th Protagonist's thoughts help humanize the character and gives the reader a sense that it's a real individual.
     

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