I used to avoid conversation in my books. I didn't think I was great at it.
I used to believe that writing narrative was my strength.
Now, many books later, I rarely resort to narrative at all. My books are mostly constructed of scenes, with perhaps a little narrative thread. Most of the narrative is put in the mouths of my characters. If something needs to be explained, if something needs to be related, if there is a flashback, then my characters will tell us.
So more and more, the scenes are comprised of either talk or action.
So it seems like my characters are always talking. None of it is excess, as far as I can tell. Most of it continues the plot.
But it feels a little weird.
I don't think there is anything wrong with narrative, but talk is a form of action. It involves the reader more.
It's also more dangerous. It's harder to do well. I have to try really hard to delineate the characters through their talk, hopefully not making them all sound the same.
None of this is choice. It's more an evolution of my style. Trying to build on what works, what propels the story best.
The current book is full of ideas and interesting characters, and a complex plot, but probably needs a bit more world building. It may be a mistake to do the world building after the plot, but that seems to be the direction I'm going.
Lara told Linda at lunch yesterday that she never knew an author who did his research after writing the book, but to me it's common sense. Without knowing what you're looking for, research would seem to me to be infinite. Whereas, when you know specifically what you need or what will fit, then it is much more pertinent.
Anyway, this is one of those books, of which there have been several, that I like a lot, but which I wonder if other people will.
I made the decision early on that I would write these kinds of books if I wanted to. And just hope there are others -- even if a minority -- who like it as much as I do.
6 days ago