Welcome to part two of my three-part blog. In my last blog, I wrote about character driving plot so this time I want to concentrate on the other plot driver dialog. I’m comparing these lessons to what I’ve observed on the show the Walking Dead, but dialog inspiration can be found in many places.
If you’re like most writers, you want your dialog to be fresh, relevant and snappy. It should reel the reader into your world and breathes life into your novel, novella or short story. Many articles on dialog writing warn against info dumping, a story killer if ever there was one, speech flow and placement, and they are all good tips, but I want to talk a little about holding information back. What your character says is almost as important as what’s not being said.
Mystery in a story is a good hook. It forces the reader to think and keeps them turning pages to find out what happens next. It’s also a good idea not to presume to explain everything. Your explanation may not jibe with the reader’s interpretation and thus turn them off. Let the reader figure out some of what’s going on and come to their own conclusion. What they pull from your story may surprise you and force you to rethink what you thought you knew.
Well, that’s it. Please drop a comment if you agree, disagree or just want to get something off your chest. All comments are welcome.