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Project nachonaco
12-29-2007, 04:54 AM
What comes first for you, dialogue or narrative?

I SUCK at dialogue....So right now I'm half-tempted to go ahead and write THAT instead of narrative for the moment.

Birol
12-29-2007, 05:03 AM
Neither comes first.

IceCreamEmpress
12-29-2007, 05:22 AM
Plot first, always, for me.

Esopha
12-29-2007, 05:24 AM
Well. You need to master both to write a good book.

Project nachonaco
12-29-2007, 05:26 AM
Heheheh.

Yeah, I meant in the actual building of the novel. Dialogue and narrative.

Is it wrong to write dialogue first and then fill-in-the-blanks?

kuwisdelu
12-29-2007, 05:41 AM
I suppose it depends on the story, how it's told, and what kind of writer you are. Except for "which is more important" (all of them are important!), there really is no right answer to your question.

For me, writing only dialogue first and filling in the blanks later would be pretty terrible. That wouldn't work for me, because the majority of my stories are told through the narrative. Not to mention, I can never leave blank spots in my writing to "fill in later."

But if you're writing a very dialogue-heavy story where most of it is told through dialogue, and you're not the kind who minds leaving sections to fill in later, then go for it. There's no reason it can't work for someone. Go ahead and try it.

Assuming you're writing a novel or a short story, the question you may want to ask yourself if dialogue is THAT primary to your story is if you're writing a screenplay, or a play instead.

Birol
12-29-2007, 06:05 AM
Heheheh.

Yeah, I meant in the actual building of the novel. Dialogue and narrative.

Is it wrong to write dialogue first and then fill-in-the-blanks?

This is what I thought you meant. While I agree there is no one right way to write, I also stand by my initial response of neither comes first. If you try to write one, then go back and fill in the other, more than likely there's going to be problems with flow. It will read as if you wrote one then went back and filled in the other later. What you're talking about is entirely different than skipping a scene that's not working to write forward.

Work on integrating them so that they flow smoothly together. One should feed the other.

Project nachonaco
12-29-2007, 06:07 AM
Gaahh! I haven't seen Lori in so long and I insult her intelligence. :(

BAD Shiidonii! :(

Birol
12-29-2007, 06:19 AM
:roll:

Funny. My intelligence doesn't feel insulted. I'm just trying to figure out what I want for dinner: scrambled eggs or grilled cheese.

It's a good topic. If you do have a weak area -- and what writer doesn't -- how do you work on it to improve it? After all, if you're working on music or martial arts, you can isolate a problem area and just focus on that one thing for a little while before integrating it back into the overall process. How do you accomplish the same thing with writing?

Albedo
12-29-2007, 06:25 AM
On one of my recent drafts I somehow wrote 10,000 words of dialogue without any accompanying description of the speakers or their surroundings, so I have to go back one day and fix the damn thing. I don't recommend doing it this way.


It was really good dialogue, though.

Project nachonaco
12-29-2007, 06:27 AM
“You’re sure you’re ready?”
“Yes. If I don’t get it together, how will anyone else?”
“I’m just making sure.”
“Alan, if I didn’t know what I was doing by now…”
“Politics are dangerous. You’ll be blown up.”

Strangely, I think this is good dialogue.

katiemac
12-29-2007, 06:50 AM
I write both at the same time. Mostly, I write Fairly Decent dialogue alongside Pure Crap narrative, so they both have to be fixed in revisions anyhow.

Project nachonaco
12-29-2007, 07:03 AM
I write both at the same time. Mostly, I write Fairly Decent dialogue alongside Pure Crap narrative, so they both have to be fixed in revisions anyhow.

Yeah, I tried that, so that's why I'm trying to get the dialogue out of the way first. :D

katiemac
12-29-2007, 07:10 AM
Yeah, I tried that, so that's why I'm trying to get the dialogue out of the way first. :D

I am curious about this. When I work on a scene, I literally see everything in it -- expressions, movements, etc. -- along with the dialogue. Part of the problem, I think, is that the narrative becomes "too much" since not half the details I'm aware of are actually important to note.

I wonder if writing dialogue first, then filling in the narrative I already know exists would help eliminate unnecessary details in the first draft. I couldn't do this for a whole novel, but it might just be my New Exercise.

I don't think I could come up with only dialogue from the start, though. I'd have to be consciously eliminating narrative along the way.

Project nachonaco
12-29-2007, 07:12 AM
I am curious about this. When I work on a scene, I literally see everything in it -- expressions, movements, etc. -- along with the dialogue. Part of the problem, I think, is that the narrative becomes "too much" since not half the details I'm aware of are actually important to note.

I wonder if writing dialogue first, then filling in the narrative I already know exists would help eliminate unnecessary details in the first draft. I couldn't do this for a whole novel, but it might just be my New Exercise.

I don't think I could come up with only dialogue from the start, though. I'd have to be consciously eliminating narrative along the way.

Holy crap.

You're inside my head. Get out. There's not enough room. :D