Dial Log

Dialog allows characters to interact with their setting, with each other, and with the reader. Dialog challenges the writer in both use and execution, both technically and artistically. The rules of use follow the same pattern as the use of description and exposition, but because dialog feels like a different animal the temptation to treat it differently can be excruciating.

Dialog serves the same purpose as exposition, and can be treated the same way. There is nothing intrinsically special about dialog to set it apart from narrative or descriptive exposition, only the “voice” and perceptions of the speaker should differentiate it from the surrounding text. As small a thing as this is, it serves the very important purpose of introducing variety into the reader’s experience and serves to break up descriptive and narrative passages. read more

A Brief Time of History

Exposition lays out all the groundwork in a novel that the reader cannot experience directly. Description provides those images and sensations that can be sense or felt, completing a mental picture of the setting and the characters. Dialog helps shape character through verbal interaction, and informs the reader at the same time that it moves action forward. Exposition fills in the gaps left by relying on purely observable description and involves the reader more intimately with the source material. Properly employed exposition addresses history, functionality, or purpose with information the reader needs but cannot witness or easily deduce. It may be presented in dialog, descriptively, or in narrative passages. read more

Scene It

Action in a novel happens through dialog, description, and exposition. Dialog is the beating emotional heart of your characters, but it cannot stand alone; dialog needs setting and motion in order to give it meaning. Setting the scene needs to be high on a writer’s priority list in order to give his characters a place to act and emote. Description treats the current setting of the story, detailing those persons, places, and things around which the action is currently taking place and often are performing those actions themselve. Exposition provides the reader with information that cannot be observed, or explicitly lays out information that must be deduced. Description and exposition provide the foundation for dialog, and we will treat all three this week. read more