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Puddle Jumper
04-16-2005, 03:31 AM
I find when writing a Christian story that it's much easier to have two characters carry a dialogue back and forth than if I was writing something that isn't Christian based. I could easily write a dialogue between characters that could last say a 20 page chapter. For example, character A confronts character B about sin in their life and the two go into a long discussion about it.

How long is too long for a dialogue between two people? Is an entire chapter devoted to it too long to keep interest?

Ralyks
04-20-2005, 06:37 AM
I think it depends how realistic and natural the dialogue is, and whether it sounds too didactic. Is the dialogue just a platform for preaching? Then it's probably gone on too long. But if it feels "real"--if you can see people really talking like this, a whole chapter might be okay--provided it is broken up intermittently by something--internal thought, the expression of emotion, description of the scene, etc. If it is ALL dialogue, I'd think about whether it was more appropriate as a play. The problem with long exchanges of dialogue in Christian fiction is that it runs the risk of becoming didactic and unnatural.

Puddle Jumper
04-20-2005, 07:57 AM
What does didactic mean?


Is the dialogue just a platform for preaching?
I'm not sure. The dialogue that I've been struggling with is this. A pastor approaches an old friend who has strayed away from the faith and the friend ends up talking about his past, his pain, why he's strayed, anger, etc... Well the person he's talking to is a pastor. I'm trying to make what the pastor says sound natural, but he's in a position where he's trying to guide this person back on track. Chances are he might sound preachy at times. But that's toned down a lot because he sees the pain in his friend and pastors especially are usually pretty good when talking to someone one on one not to sound preachy when trying to help them find their way.

Oy, this story idea I've been trying to work with is giving me a headache because of this topic of "dialogue."

Ralyks
04-20-2005, 10:38 PM
By didactic I mean inclined to moralize excessively.

Dancre
04-21-2005, 09:26 PM
What does didactic mean?


I'm not sure. The dialogue that I've been struggling with is this. A pastor approaches an old friend who has strayed away from the faith and the friend ends up talking about his past, his pain, why he's strayed, anger, etc... Well the person he's talking to is a pastor. I'm trying to make what the pastor says sound natural, but he's in a position where he's trying to guide this person back on track. Chances are he might sound preachy at times. But that's toned down a lot because he sees the pain in his friend and pastors especially are usually pretty good when talking to someone one on one not to sound preachy when trying to help them find their way.

Oy, this story idea I've been trying to work with is giving me a headache because of this topic of "dialogue."


How does your pastor counsel others? is he preachy or sympathetic? i have a pastor in my story and i mirrored some characteristics, including counseling, after my pastor. i think most folks expect pastors to be a bit preachy, but not overdone. in otherwords, not condensending but having their best interesting in heart, loving them and wanting to help.
kim