Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A few days ago I was in the kitchen preparing dinner and I caught myself saying to myself, "If I were you."
Then I thought, "Wait a minute, I am me."
That was one of the many silly moments in my life. Also, it's an example of inner dialogue. I don't have actual proof, but I suspect we all carry on conversations in our heads, sometimes about trivialities, other times to come to terms with or figure out serious matters.
When writing a novel, don't leave out inner dialogue. It's a great way to explain a character's actions or beliefs, also a way to heighten suspense. There are all sorts of reasons to include inner dialogue.
A reader might know what's in one character's mind, but the other character doesn't know. How and when will that knowledge be revealed?
Small bits of inner dialogue can be smattered in a novel like breadcrumbs for birds so the reader will follow the trail to the conclusion.
Or, maybe the reader doesn't know what's in the mind of a character who has a defining role in the novel. That makes it vital for the reader to read on to find out the answer.
Inner dialogue is an effective tool if used wisely, but be careful not to overdo it. Be sure to balance it with spoken dialogue, narrativ,e and action for a good mix.
You can get away with using more inner dialogue in a romance novel, but in many other genres you'd have to be a quite skillful writer to carry off such an overload.
How about you? Do you talk to yourself? What do you think of inner dialogue in novels?
Do you enjoy reading it or writing it?
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