Friday, November 15, 2013

Good Advice?

A writer friend of mine, who is working on a novel, asked if she should include dialogue in an action sequence. Of course there are many possible answers, ranging from "yes" to "no". After careful and extensive deliberation lasting nearly a minute, and unless I change my mind, I feel as if I have to respond by saying, "No." Here's why:

I don't recall any dialogue included in the action scenes of literary titans such as Melville, Hugo, or Sidney Sheldon. If you happen to find any evidence to the contrary, just keep your lip buttoned. And from my own personal writing experience, in that towering historical opus, Samovar of  Destiny, there's no dialogue in the riveting scene where Jesus and his disciple Larry are being pursued by a pack of ravenous brontosaurus. I felt that using dialogue would have strained credibility.

4 comments:

  1. Gee, I'm glad I'd finished my coffee before reading that! ::regards empty mug:: Hmmm... what's in that samovar, anyway?

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    1. you'll have to read the novel to find out!

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  2. Perhaps Jesus and Larry should be singing Tea for Two as they are being pursued? No actual dialogue, but a well placed musical number, especially with a little soft-shoe, is never a bad thing.

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    1. maybe they sing something in public domain. i'm on a very limited budget.

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