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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • Beginning Dialogue : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
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Beginning Dialogue

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:35 pm
by Spinner216
Just a quick question: The first draft of my books begins with about a page and a half without dialogue. Do you guys think this is too much text without space? I know the beginning of a book should include some well-timed dialogue, what's your guys opinion?

Re: Beginning Dialogue

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:37 pm
by kamalayka
It's a bit weird, but it's ok if it works. IS it a "literary" novel? Is your character a rambler or something?

Re: Beginning Dialogue

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:19 pm
by Spinner216

Re: Beginning Dialogue

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:15 pm
by pls
As long as the non-dialogue text isn't an info dump/exposition, it's probably all right.

Re: Beginning Dialogue

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:11 am
by robjvargas
The way I see it, for pretty much any text without character participation, is, "Is the story moving, or am I explaining something?"

If the former, all well and good. If the latter, I give it a second, third, and even fourth look to see if it's really necessary.

In my case, usually not.

Re: Beginning Dialogue

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:37 pm
by James A. Ritchie
There is no rule that says a book should have dialogue in the first few pages. Or anywhere in the book, for that matter. There is nothing at all wrong with an entire novel that has no dialogue at all. The kind of story it is, the pace you want to set, the mood and tone you're after, and all sorts of things, determines how much dialogue you should use, where you should use it, and when you should use it.

Never put in dialogue because you think you've gone too long without any. Dialogue should only be used when and if a character has something to say that is [i]important [/i]to the story, and when dialogue works better to tell whatever it is than the narrative does.

It isn't even something you should worry about until you start the final draft.

Re: Beginning Dialogue

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:26 am
by Terry T.A. Rodgers
If my memory serves, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a 100 page story with zero dialog. A fantastic piece of literature.

Re: Beginning Dialogue

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:39 pm
by Ron Natalie
Presumably you are using paragraphs. That's all the "space" that is needed.