How many times have you said, “The book was OK, but the movie was fantastic”?
Common knowledge says the difference is because movies have to trim the plot and cut scenes to fit the story into a shorter format. That’s part of the reason, but I think there’s another, subtler and far more important ingredient lost in the translation—the telling. With the exception of voice-overs, movies are all show and no tell. Books, on the other hand, have loads of telling. Continue reading
I thought this was going to be a simple research and post project. Oops—wrong again.
First off, let me give you some background. I have had a problem with getting through transitions and summaries in my writing. Not every time. But when my writing snags it’s usually not on character actions, reactions, scene description, dialogue or the step-by-step illustration of a scene. It’s on the narrative asides, the summaries and the stuff between scenes. What I think of as the non-scene writing. Continue reading
For our May “Learn to Write by Reading” challenge, we invited you to examine books that had great dialogue. Now, apply what you learned to your own manuscript.
In television and movies, the writers often use dialogue to convey information. But in a book, because novelists have more options for conveying information, using dialogue for info dumps is a telltale sign of an amateur. If two characters already know something, they won’t stop to tell each other about it. Read through your own dialogue and highlight any instances of info dumping you find. Now decide if the information is actually necessary to the story. If it is, pick another way to convey it, such as through action, thought, or description.