What happens when you strip away?


What story does your dialogue tell if you strip away everything else?

  • No character descriptions.
  • No setting descriptions.
  • No stage directions.
  • No emotional directions.

Just the words.

Take a scene and remove everything but the dialogue and look at what you have left. Are you relying on the externals to get your point across? Can you identify a moment where it’s hard to figure out what’s going on when you just read the dialogue?

Or does just seeing the dialogue make you realize how much you’re saying. Is there any place you can make your dialogue more efficient?

One of the most important jobs for the writer is to communicate efficiently. That means being specific with your characters and what they have to say. Use less words to create your world and your images. Having too much “talking” in the stage directions and the externals is a part of that efficiency.

How do you use less to say more?