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Branwyn
02-05-2006, 12:39 AM
I have a feeling about what it means, the character is not real enough??

Help! Lost in translation??

britlitfantw
02-05-2006, 12:52 AM
'Talking Heads' is when you have pages of dialogue without including any narrative and/or action into it. i.e.

"Hey, Bob."
"How are you doing, Tracy?"
"Not bad."
"How're the kids?"
"Doing well. They're in university now."
"Huh, who would've thought it?"

And on and on for quite a while ... you gotta liven talking heads up with jazz and pizzazz! ;) Does that clear things up?

arrowqueen
02-05-2006, 12:53 AM
It's normally used about TV programmes to mean there's not enough action - just 'talking heads'.

arrowqueen
02-05-2006, 12:55 AM
oops. Brit beat me to it.

Branwyn
02-05-2006, 12:58 AM
Like;



"Hey Bob," she said while picking up the morning paper off the front lawn.
"How are you doing, Tracy?" Bob muttered as he picked up the dog poop.

britlitfantw
02-05-2006, 01:10 AM
That would be one way of livening it up, yes. You can even step it up again, if you feel like it.

"Hey, Bob," Tracy said, smiling across the fence at him. Her daughter had mentioned how sullen their new neighbour had seemed to her, but Tracy found it hard to believe from the way he was bent over and scooping at clumps of dirt in the abandoned garden. "Nice day, isn't it?"
"Not bad. How are you doing --" What had the girl said her name was? Started with a 'T', or maybe it was an 'S'. No, he was pretty sure. "Tracy."

Now, that's not the best example, because it switches viewpoints, but you see how you can develop character by transforming talking heads to live action? It's striking the balance that's difficult.

Branwyn
02-05-2006, 01:16 AM
Gotcha! Thanks.

Jonny Ryan Mac
02-06-2006, 02:38 PM
I'm wondering....I dont like a lot of drawn out dialog when something exiting is happening. Is talking heads, as you say, something that makes a book bad? I've read a few things that had a lot of it, now there were lines inbetween the talking, but real short and sweet as not to boil down the scene. Is the idea to avoid this when the pacing gets slow, so people know who's communicating? Or do you want to avoid it alltogether?

Wondering...

loquax
02-06-2006, 03:18 PM
IMO the examples you are giving are a lengthened form of dialogue tags, which in general are a no-no. They don't actually add anything to the story - they're just filler. But with everything in writing, any device can be used to good effect. As Jonny said, in action scenes, dialogue tags are bad, because they slow the pace. But if you want a slow pace, then by all means fill the dialogue up. A romantic conversation, for instance, might only consist of a few lines, but it can be drawn out with descriptions and emotions to better suit the pace and mood of the scene.

Branwyn
02-06-2006, 07:48 PM
IMO the examples you are giving are a lengthened form of dialogue tags, which in general are a no-no. They don't actually add anything to the story - they're just filler. But with everything in writing, any device can be used to good effect. As Jonny said, in action scenes, dialogue tags are bad, because they slow the pace. But if you want a slow pace, then by all means fill the dialogue up. A romantic conversation, for instance, might only consist of a few lines, but it can be drawn out with descriptions and emotions to better suit the pace and mood of the scene.

So then what is a talking head? I've read different opinions in "Guide to Good Writing" books. But was told in my ms there were some talking heads issues.
I'm confused.

maestrowork
02-06-2006, 08:09 PM
Talking head is only bad when:

1. There are pages of it and nothing else

2. The dialogue is stilted

3. The dialogue is mundane and does not develop characters, advance the plot, or enrich the themes

4. There are pages of it

Branwyn
02-06-2006, 09:31 PM
'Talking Heads' is when you have pages of dialogue without including any narrative and/or action into it. i.e.

"Hey, Bob."
"How are you doing, Tracy?"
"Not bad."
"How're the kids?"
"Doing well. They're in university now."
"Huh, who would've thought it?"

And on and on for quite a while ... you gotta liven talking heads up with jazz and pizzazz! ;) Does that clear things up?

So the above is an example of talking heads?

MattW
02-06-2006, 10:06 PM
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile....

Branwyn
02-07-2006, 01:56 AM
And the days go by....

britlitfantw
02-07-2006, 03:48 AM
IMO the examples you are giving are a lengthened form of dialogue tags, which in general are a no-no. They don't actually add anything to the story - they're just filler. But with everything in writing, any device can be used to good effect. As Jonny said, in action scenes, dialogue tags are bad, because they slow the pace. But if you want a slow pace, then by all means fill the dialogue up. A romantic conversation, for instance, might only consist of a few lines, but it can be drawn out with descriptions and emotions to better suit the pace and mood of the scene.

Also true (all of it.) Good luck with your WIP, Baywitch. :) I bow down to those more experienced than I to give you advice. :Hail:

Branwyn
02-07-2006, 04:43 AM
Thanks;)

AncientEagle
02-07-2006, 05:47 AM
Gee, I'd just gotten really involved in the story about Bob and Tracy. Is there going to be another installment?