1. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    933
    Location:
    San Diego

    How much is too much dialog

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Thundair, Jul 7, 2017.

    After reading a lot of the newer books, and the introductory parts of books on Amazon, I'm worried.
    Not so much that my story is in a real life setting, but that I have gone over board with the dialog.
    I'm at 51k words with about 70% dialog. Is that too much?
    I did read that the narrative uses more words to get the same point across. As a short story writer I have always been on a word reduction program. I'll never get 80k words in for my novel. Whats a guy to do?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    6,481
    Likes Received:
    12,774
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Maybe? 70% would seem to be on the high side, but there's nothing wrong with going heavy if you write really good dialogue. It'll have to do a lot of heavy lifting to make the narrative work. I would think the more you lean on it the more subtle it would have to be. Too clever or too snappy and it might burn out after a few chapters.

    I'm not even sure what 70% would look like. Probably plenty of books have done it well, but I can't seem to think of them off the top of my head.
     
  3. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,069
    I think that this is very heavily It Depends. It might be totally fine; it might not be. Do you have anything in the Review Room that would let people opinionate?
     
  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,381
    Likes Received:
    26,223
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    IDK. We don't have anything to work with as the Lordess of Logic has made mention.
    Though I have read one or two that were dialogue driven, but they carried their plots
    poorly (Not that I am saying yours is following suit).
    So without reference material to look at, how can anyone really say? Hmm?

    Though if I can say one thing, my work is not carried by the dialogue, but in the
    thoughts and actions of the characters more so. :p
     
    matwoolf likes this.
  5. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    933
    Location:
    San Diego
    I think I might have panicked a little, ok a lot.
    I counted the dialog for the first thirty pages and the last thirty it is closer to 35%
    I just felt engulfed in dialog trying to expand the narrative to get the word count up.
    So as Roseanne Roseannadanna would say, "Never mind."
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  6. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    933
    Location:
    San Diego
    Edited for content to place in the Review Room at a future date
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,069
    I strongly suspect that this is of a length that requires the Review Room.
     
  8. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    647
    Opinions incoming:

    I love dialogue. I skip paragraphs, entire pages, to continue with dialogue. Dialogue tells me more about characters than pages of upon pages of action and description. I want to see characters talking, feel the emotions they're feeling for each other. All non-dialogue should exist to set up more dialogue. Character interactions are the backbone of a story. You can never have too much interaction. 70% is a fantastic amount of dialogue to have.

    As a side note, I really like dialogue.
     
    Thundair and ChickenFreak like this.
  9. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    933
    Location:
    San Diego
    I'm feeling better about it now that I went back and reviewed the dialog.
    My editor likes a lot of dialog, and has encouraged more, but this is the first 'third person' novel so I'm still learning.
    Thanks to all for the replies.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice