Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I started outlining, and yes I got a whole, hold on let me count…8 lines and 85 words in, and I’ve run into a predicament. Can you tell I’m stalling? Okay, here’s the deal, so I’m sitting here going over what I already had to incorporate it into the outline, you know the stuff I’ve already written. Not that much *bad Hayley*.

So as I’m going over this I keep running into a lot of dialogue, now it may just seem like a lot because when I write I have my document set at: a size ten font, single spaced, negative 4 or 7 (depends on how I’m feeling) margins, so more fits onto the page and I’m paying less attention to how much has been written and more attention quality. It also saves paper, and I like trees, don’t judge. But so as I’m going over this, and I had this conversation briefly with Kathryn during the wasted writing lunch period, I keep running into dialogue. Now normally this isn’t a problem, I’m good with dialogue, because I talk, a lot. (Okay well not right off the bat but if you know me you’d know I never shut up, ask Sara, I don’t know how she deals with my ramblings. You can even see in my blog posts that I rarely have a quick to the point post. I ramble.) I’m not displeased with the dialogue, it just seems to be everywhere, and I worry. I mean worrying is what I do I’m good at it, so now I’m looking over He’s With Me, and worrying. I love the prologue and first two chapters. But once we get to chapter 3 on, it’s never ending dialogue (that may be a slight exaggeration, but that isn’t stopping the worry). This is very bad, and I am in freak out mode. Okay not freak out mode, but close. Then there are parts that I’ve written with no dialogue and I love them. Those bits make me feel better.

This begs the question how do you know if there is too much dialogue? Too much telling and not enough showing? I used to pride myself on knowing both, but now it seems that I can only tell when there is too much telling, but am still have trouble with dialogue.

And of course, because my outlining sucks, massively, any outlining advice out there? Because I need it, methods, tricks, sneak attacks on your characters? Anything?

I’m going to see if another lunch period can be successfully spent on this task, if not, I will not give up. Outline, I will own you.


Kristi Faith said...

You might find it helpful to highlight your dialogue in one color and your narration in another color. This helps me see at a glance if there is too much of either.

Outlining, I suck at it too. I hated it in high school, still hate it. I use notecards. One notecard per scene and one per character with info I need to remember on the cards.

Hope this helps! :)

Karen said...

Great post on outlining over at The Other Side of the Story:


Mariah Irvin said...

Try reading your dialogue out loud. If it sounds excessive and unnatural, you'll know to cut it.

Kayla said...

Sometimes excessive dialogue is necessary. But if you feel that it is too much I usually insert a small paragraph about what a character is thinking about the dialogue or about what they should say. It flows nicely and it's a simple trick.

Also, I wouldn't worry too much. I just finished a book called Thirst by Christopher Pike and I swear the entire book was basically dialogue. It was very good, and on the best seller's list. So as I said, sometimes too much dialogue is good.

Hayley said...

Kristi- That's a gerat idea, thank you!

Karen- I'll check it out right now, thanks for the link!

Mariah- You know I can't believe that I didn't think about that. Thank you, because I was so stressed about if it sounded natural or not, thanks.

Kayla- You just made me feel so much better about it. Thank you :)