I’ve written a strictly first person, mainly present tense Crime story from the POV of someone whose morals are ‘different’. One person has read the lot and said he absolutely loved it. Since then I’ve swapped a few opening chapters, with other crime writers. One says ‘An interesting piece indeed. Fabulously, obsessively, intriguingly written’ Another says ‘ I read your first chapter – loved it, really powerful stuff.’ – but ‘the pace is very heavy and slow’ Another says ‘Spoiled by a pace that is borderline catatonic. Responding to feedback, I’ve changed the 4,500 word 1st chapter that had no dialogue. It is now 3 chapters, totalling 5,600 words with a little dialogue in the short Chs 1 & 2. Ch 3 is him setting fire to an old people’s home and still has none. I do tell a lot of the story – through the eyes and head of a guy with a strong character – like lighting the fire. I don’t tell his emotions – I show them. I describe events – e.g. he is on his own when he finds his barge has been ransacked and at first thinks there is someone still on board. He finds 1 photo of his mom left – and it’s partially burned. (Do I put a parrot in there for him to talk to?!) Overall, there must be roughly no more than 16% dialogue. However, I get plenty of white space in there with his introspections and thoughts, though I rarely highlight internal thought/speech. Wrt to white space – one said: ‘Those short and sweet passages, hastened the pace of your story and helped raise the tension. Clever and effective.’ All the f/b says well written. So, when did sparse dialogue start being interpreted as all tell and no show and therefore bad and slow. Don’t we TELL stories? Do I have to throw this away because it doesn’t comprise 60% dialogue? For me, dialogue is easy. When I see people in Nano writing 10,000 words a day, I reckon they must just have masses of meaningless dialogue. Or in this fast food world does no one have the patience to read a slow burn story? (that each has said is well written) Rant over.