Writing Books/talking


when discribring scences, is there a guileline for how much describing an author should do before there is diologe. i am in the middle of wriiting a book, and it seems that i describe what's happening more then i am having my charaters communicate. is there so an amount of talking i should put in per chapter. and what if the main charater is by his or her self most of the time because he or she is shy etc. should i have the charcter do a lot of thinking? thanks. its not that i'm putting zero talking into the story, but i feel i am constintraing on describing more. thanks for your advice


Hello Sara:

You did not say whether your book is fiction or non-fiction but for the sake of this answer I'll assume it's fiction. If I'm wrong, you can disregard this answer.

There are no hard and fast "rules" for writing scenes. All the aspects of fiction, plot, character, setting (description), dialogue, etc. should be carefully chosen to one goal: to advance the story. Dialogue, for example, is not put in just to have people talking, or as relief from description. Every word in the story should advance the story in some way, or it should be taken out.

Most scenes contain some dialogue, but not all. Two characters may engage in a fistfight with no more than a few insults before the fight starts. Dialogue may come first or not at all, as you decide.

Most characters when alone engage in a lot of thinking -this is called the "interior monologue" - but all of it doesn't have to be reported, again, only that which is germane to the story.

I sense you are quite young. You have many years ahead of you during which you will learn a lot about spelling, grammar, how to plot, etc. Be patient - regard this present work as practice. Take composition calsses and above all, keep writing.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 600 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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