Say What?

How much is too much dialogue?

The saying, “Talk much, say little,” goes for the written word, too, and while it can be boring not to have any dialogue, a little does go a long way, especially for children. I had a boy say to another boy about the girl character that she talked too much. I know this is “Tell, not show,” but I thought in this case it was preferred. I’m still unsure about it. What do you writers think about this? It’s in a middle-grade book.

-contributed by Shirley Shibley


3 responses to “Say What?

  1. Interesting question, Shirley. I think that using dialogue is a great way of “showing” that one girl talks too much. Otherwise, if you as the author just steps in and narrates and says the girl talks too much, than that would be “telling.”

  2. gloriastockstill

    Shirley, dialogue having the boy tell a friend the girl talks too much is good.


  3. Shirley Shibley

    Thanks, Gloria. I had also thought of saying “She talked on and on while (POV character) pictured himself hitting his first home run.

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