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Thread: starting a novel with dialog

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  1. #27
    please distract me mccardey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey Fowler View Post
    The example you provided is, unfortunately, monologue, not dialog so it isn't really germane. Nevertheless, it's easy to appreciate that the monologue is conveying a lot of information. It's also raising a lot of questions, though, and I'm not sure that's such a good thing at the start of a novel. If you can come up with a novel beginning with dialog I'd be interested in hearing about it.
    Monologue and duologue are generally terms for performance aren't they? I'd class the Gilead excerpt a reported dialogue - there are two speakers in the remembered conversation.

    As to raising questions right at the beginning - surely that comes down to taste in reading. You don't like questions raised at the start, which is fine - but I love it. Which means that your
    I think this is an awful way of starting a novel or any other piece of fiction. Starting with dialog is confronting the reader with characters who haven't been introduced and challenging them imagine a context. Why would anyone want to do this?
    has a really simple answer. 'Some readers love it.' (And also some writers love to do it, and do it well.)

    I'll have a think about a novel that starts in a more rigidly defined form of dialogue and let you know if anything comes up. But I do think that one of the ways it's successfully done is by slightly altering the convention of dialogue. To make it reported or remembered for instance - as above.
    Last edited by mccardey; 05-20-2017 at 05:51 AM.

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