Dialogue vs. Paragraphs - Which one do you prefer?

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Vallen Kale
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Dialogue vs. Paragraphs - Which one do you prefer?

Post by Vallen Kale »

Hello everyone! Last night I was having a conversation with my writer friend about the forms of story-telling.

My friend had read a lot of novels but he also did a great dive into the plays as well, namely the works of Tennessee Williams (A Street Car Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, Cat on the Hot tin roof and so forth). He suggested that sometimes a set of dialogues can be more meaningful than a series of long paragraphs. For example, in a dialogue, when the writer describes the action of the protagonist while he is speaking, it gives a greater insight into the character than with one paragraph.

As for me, I am a big fan of long, narrative paragraphs. I have nothing against my friend's idea but somehow it sounds intriguing. Thus, the reason for this post. I would like to ask you, as literary enthusiasts, which form of story telling do you prefer? A dialogue or a paragraph?

You can share your thoughts here and we will discuss together. :D
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Post by Morgan Jones »

Surprisingly, paragraphs. I feel like the have more flexibility and I could use a bit of poetry and dramatic sentences without being cringey. Dialogues, however, should always sound like actual people talking in real life, so readers could connect to them. It's extremely hard to recall all the conversations you had in your life and the slang you use with people, just to write a few words exhanged between your characters. Sometimes, I feel like I'm breaking my brain from the stress. Especially since english isn't my first language.
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Post by rave_2 »

I prefer paragraphs since they have more information rather than just dialogue.
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Post by Sushan »

It depends on the type of fiction. For a example you cannot go on and on with dialogues in a thriller because the details of events are a must. But if you are describing a crime happened earlier, can use dialogues to give a full picture
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Post by Thokchom Alice »

A mix of both would do amazing things. I personally find it very interesting when there are some paragraphs describing emotions and action, then, a dialogue to get the real taste of what the characters speak.
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Post by clint_csperry-org »

As a writer, I don't really have a preference. I suppose it sort of depends on what I need to convey to the reader, and the most effective way to do it. When you are talking about screen plays, it lends itself to more, dialog. On the other hand, prose only sometimes is dialog more effective.
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Post by DD129 »

I agree that a good story should have a combination of both. The use of one over the other depends on the author's style and what they want to tell. Personally, I prefer paragraphs more because my writing tends to lean toward description. Paragraphs allow me to be as wordy as I'd like. However, dialogue is extremely useful in defining characters; it is essential to any character-driven story.
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Post by Inkroverts »

It really depends on the situation the characters are in. But mostly, I prefer dialogue.
When the characters are engaged in an action sequence. Some books like to use dialogue to imply what they're doing, instead of directly telling you what's happening.
"Ouch! Watch out your foot!" vs. Character A accidentally stepped on Character B, and the latter winced.
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Post by emidio125 »

I like both although I do believe that dialogues shorten information that would need long paragraphs.
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Post by SaraHysaro »

I can honestly go either way. Dialogue heavy scenes are usually a lot of fun to read, and can help flesh out interpersonal connections within the story. You can't have just dialogue, however, and sometimes scenes are better without a single spoken word. It all depends on what's going on in the story.
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Post by Rabiul_tanmoy250 »

Hey, it depends on the situation. But I prefer Dialogue instead of Paragraphs because Dialogue has more ability to expose any sentence.
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Post by Casey Kowalewsky »

Dialog to keep the story moving, paragraphs for scene setting and introspection.
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Post by Emidio Mikwate »

I prefer paragraphs, I think I am not that good at using dialogues.
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Post by Black Jewel »

I prefer paragraphs. I feel that it is difficult for the story to move forward on dialogue alone. Probably because it can be hard to pull it off well when writing it.
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Post by Ingrid Sanchez »

Paragraphs for scenery and situation description. Dialogue if you want to expose the characters' set of mind, mood, relationships. I think a good novel should have a mixture of both. They are tools to describe the situations and get the reader involved the best we can within the scene and story development. A good use of the tools will mean a good result at the end.
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