Dialogues or blocks of prose?

Which one do you prefer more than the other?

  • Dialogue

  • Prose


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BlackKnightX

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Now, I know, when hearing such question most people will answer “balance of both”, right?

I understand that to write a novel, you need both. But if we talk about preference then it’s another story. Which one do you prefer more between dialogue and prose?

For me personally, I love dialogue. First of all, for most people, it’s read must faster than prose and easier to digest. Second, it’s an awesome way to add comedic tone and let the readers get to know the characters naturally. And lastly, it feels like watching a movie.

So for me, I prefer dialogue more than prose, but what about you guys?

———

**I don’t add a choice “Balance of both” for the reason I stated above. I want to know the preference. So if you have to choose one, what would it be?”
 

CupcakeNinja

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Now, I know, when hearing such question most people will answer “balance of both”, right?

I understand that to write a novel, you need both. But if we talk about preference then it’s another story. Which one do you prefer more between dialogue and prose?

For me personally, I love dialogue. First of all, for most people, it’s read must faster than prose and easier to digest. Second, it’s an awesome way to add comedic tone and let the readers get to know the characters naturally. And lastly, it feels like watching a movie.

So for me, I prefer dialogue more than prose, but what about you guys?

———

**I don’t add a choice “Balance of both” for the reason I stated above. I want to know the preference. So if you have to choose one, what would it be?”
Dialogue can give insight into the character better, but prose can add a depth to a subject cuz you concentrate on it. I prefer prose in such cases. When I discuss a topic, I can do so for several paragraphs. Helps boost word count too
 

SailusGebel

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Badass~ lol
Don't waste your time and ask people not to do something cause they will do it nonetheless. It's as natural as deriving the original topic of the thread. You won't be able to stop it with a mere request.

As for your question, I guess I prefer dialogues.
 

BlackKnightX

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Dialogue can give insight into the character better, but prose can add a depth to a subject cuz you concentrate on it. I prefer prose in such cases. When I discuss a topic, I can do so for several paragraphs. Helps boost word count too
I see what you mean. It actually doesn’t matter as long as it fun to read. But for me personally, if the author keeps rambling on and on too much(info dump), I usually just skim through and find the next quotation marks where the story moves forward.
 

yansusustories

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I likely would have said dialogue but then I had flashbacks to those Japanese novels where half a chapter can be dialogue with no actions by any of the characters, no descriptions of setting or what's going on, and ... it's bad. Like, there's a reason I look at novels and go "Oh! Nice idea!", then see it's Japanese and don't read it. That reason is too much dialogue in comparison to the amount of prose. I just can't deal with it. It's kind of like reading a script for a drama. Sure, I could do it, but it's just not a novel and for me, personally, I'd rather watch it being acted out on stage than to read it. It's just kind of unappealing.
 

BlackKnightX

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I likely would have said dialogue but then I had flashbacks to those Japanese novels where half a chapter can be dialogue with no actions by any of the characters, no descriptions of setting or what's going on, and ... it's bad. Like, there's a reason I look at novels and go "Oh! Nice idea!", then see it's Japanese and don't read it. That reason is too much dialogue in comparison to the amount of prose. I just can't deal with it. It's kind of like reading a script for a drama. Sure, I could do it, but it's just not a novel and for me, personally, I'd rather watch it being acted out on stage than to read it. It's just kind of unappealing.
I think the big part of it is bad translation?
 

yansusustories

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I think the big part of it is bad translation?
Bad translations surely don't help but no, it's more of a general thing. It's not something exclusive to Japanese novels hence me mentioning dramas. Like, for example, some years ago, I read The Maid of Orleans by Schiller. I like the general concept, there were some interesting characters, and even though the story is fairly well-known, I also liked the developments. But for fuck's sake, I would love it much more if it was a novel instead of a play.
Just dialogue is just really, really unappealing to me. I want a scene to be set from at least a bare-bones description of the place and characters to the behind-the-scenes of what the fuck is going on, to the actions everyone does, to the inner thoughts the main character/s has/have, and anything else a novel has to offer. Even a play will have those (forgot what it's called in English) comments for how to act/direct it but they're too barebones for me. It's okay once in a while but I would still always prefer a novel over a play because, in the latter, something is just missing for me.

ETA: There are some lovely Japanese novels out there that don't do this shit but there are more than enough that they do to make me second guess every new read I find. I'm sure a lot of people like that style, I just happen to not be one of them. Just wanted to clarify that part real quick.
 

Snusmumriken

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Prose. You can write chapters without a single word spoken. You can have characters interact without speaking.

Pure dialogue would be much harder to deliver any depth. and mostly would result in a shallow slice of life or comedy routine.
 

KoyukiMegumi

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I likely would have said dialogue but then I had flashbacks to those Japanese novels where half a chapter can be dialogue with no actions by any of the characters, no descriptions of setting or what's going on, and ... it's bad. Like, there's a reason I look at novels and go "Oh! Nice idea!", then see it's Japanese and don't read it. That reason is too much dialogue in comparison to the amount of prose. I just can't deal with it. It's kind of like reading a script for a drama. Sure, I could do it, but it's just not a novel and for me, personally, I'd rather watch it being acted out on stage than to read it. It's just kind of unappealing.
Yikes! That is why my dialogue always has actions. Sometimes I feel like people forget that they don't just speak. Usually humans have emotions attached by what they say. And even have micro movements. An eye twitch or something to indicate irritation such things. Dialogue alone sometimes misses this.

We love to think we don't show emotions but we do in everything we say. Even how we day it shows something! Humans are so complex! c:
 

yansusustories

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Yikes! That is why my dialogue always has actions. Sometimes I feel like people forget that they don't just speak. Usually humans have emotions attached by what they say. And even have micro movements. An eye twitch or something to indicate irritation such things. Dialogue alone sometimes misses this.

We love to think we don't show emotions but we do in everything we say. Even how we day it shows something! Humans are so complex! c:
Yes, that's exactly it! These things are just missing for me. It's like dialogue is a piece but I'm not getting the whole thing and that just annoys me to no end.
 

GDLiZy

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Dialogue is good, but this:

Lord of the Flies said:
Towards midnight the rain ceased and the clouds drifted away, so that the sky was scattered once more with the incredible lamps of stars. Then the breeze died too and there was no noise save the drip and trickle of water that ran out of clefts and spilled down, leaf by leaf, to the brown earth of the island. The air was cool, moist, and clear; and presently even the sound of the water was still. The beast lay huddled on the pale beach and the stains spread, inch by inch. The edge of the lagoon became a streak of phosphorescence which advanced minutely, as the great wave of the tide flowed. The clear water mirrored the clear sky and the angular bright constellations. The line of phosphorescence bulged about the sand grains and little pebbles; it held them each in a dimple of tension, then suddenly accepted them with an inaudible syllable and moved on. Along the shoreward edge of the shallows the advancing clearness was full of strange, moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes. Here and there a larger pebble clung to its own air and was covered with a coat of pearls. The tide swelled in over the rain-pitted sand and smoothed everything with a layer of silver. Now it touched the first of the stainsthat seeped from the broken body and the creatures made a moving patch of light as they gathered at the edge. The water rose farther and dressed Simon’s coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble. The strange attendant creatures, with their fiery eyes and trailing vapors, busied themselves round his head. The body lifted a fraction of an inch from the sand and a bubble of air escaped from the mouth with a wet plop. Then it turned gently in the water. Somewhere over the darkened curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling, and the film of water on the earth planet was held, bulging slightly on one side while the solid core turned. The great wave of the tide moved farther along the island and the water lifted. Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon’s dead body moved out toward the open sea.

Way better.
 

BenJepheneT

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Dialogue is good, but this:



Way better.
i'mma be real with you, this is probably my ADHD riddled brain talking; unless this prose is for the purpose of setting the scene or enhancing the atmosphere, I don't need a Shakespearan play-by-play to tell me that something's happening. I'm not drawing the aforementioned quote as the example, but more in a general sense towards webnovels. you can tell me Tsuki-chan took a walk in the park without going in-depth about how each bumblebee carried with them a garden of pollen and floral scents. if it's to set a scene or serve a juxtaposition for a gruesome murder that Tsuki-chan is about to witness, I'm fine with a simple she took a brisk walk around the park.

if you can't tell I'm a big fan of less is more. i enjoy reading about possibilities and hidden connotations more than actual explanations and exposition.
 

BlackKnightX

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Bad translations surely don't help but no, it's more of a general thing. It's not something exclusive to Japanese novels hence me mentioning dramas. Like, for example, some years ago, I read The Maid of Orleans by Schiller. I like the general concept, there were some interesting characters, and even though the story is fairly well-known, I also liked the developments. But for fuck's sake, I would love it much more if it was a novel instead of a play.
Just dialogue is just really, really unappealing to me. I want a scene to be set from at least a bare-bones description of the place and characters to the behind-the-scenes of what the fuck is going on, to the actions everyone does, to the inner thoughts the main character/s has/have, and anything else a novel has to offer. Even a play will have those (forgot what it's called in English) comments for how to act/direct it but they're too barebones for me. It's okay once in a while but I would still always prefer a novel over a play because, in the latter, something is just missing for me.

ETA: There are some lovely Japanese novels out there that don't do this shit but there are more than enough that they do to make me second guess every new read I find. I'm sure a lot of people like that style, I just happen to not be one of them. Just wanted to clarify that part real quick.
I know what you mean. As I said, it’s a matter of preference.

Just pure dialogue doesn’t cut it for me either. It will feel like reading a manga with only dialogue bubbles and no pictures whatsoever.

But I prefer It more than prose if I have to choose one. Prose and description are nice, especially if it focuses on the action lines, but other than that, some authors often falls into info dumping the repetitive and pointless stuffs, which slows the story down.

Having a vague but precise description as oppose to the detailed one works the best for me since I want to imagine the scene in my head rather than having the writer tell me everything.

Well, with all that said, at the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference.
Prose. You can write chapters without a single word spoken. You can have characters interact without speaking.

Pure dialogue would be much harder to deliver any depth. and mostly would result in a shallow slice of life or comedy routine.
Yikes, that feel like a diary to me. Have you ever read Re:Monster? It doesn’t have any dialogue, just summery of events.

Though, I think whichever is fine as long as the story is fun and interesting.
 

GDLiZy

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i'mma be real with you, this is probably my ADHD riddled brain talking; unless this prose is for the purpose of setting the scene or enhancing the atmosphere, I don't need a Shakespearan play-by-play to tell me that something's happening. I'm not drawing the aforementioned quote as the example, but more in a general sense towards webnovels. you can tell me Tsuki-chan took a walk in the park without going in-depth about how each bumblebee carried with them a garden of pollen and floral scents. if it's to set a scene or serve a juxtaposition for a gruesome murder that Tsuki-chan is about to witness, I'm fine with a simple she took a brisk walk around the park.

if you can't tell I'm a big fan of less is more. i enjoy reading about possibilities and hidden connotations more than actual explanations and exposition.
Obviously no one is crafting this masterpiece for every prose ever (for context, that quote is the end of a horrifying chapter, after the kids just kill another kid in their frenzy dancing ritual), but the point is dialogue rarely reach this height of beauty.

And dude, you won't find anything even close to this in webnovels.
 

BlackKnightX

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Yikes! That is why my dialogue always has actions. Sometimes I feel like people forget that they don't just speak. Usually humans have emotions attached by what they say. And even have micro movements. An eye twitch or something to indicate irritation such things. Dialogue alone sometimes misses this.

We love to think we don't show emotions but we do in everything we say. Even how we day it shows something! Humans are so complex! c:
Yep, dialogues and action lines are what I go for. unlike a movie where the characters can portray their expression visually, you need the action lines to describe it in a novel.

Although the action line is a part of the prose, but when I said prose I mostly meant description and narration.
 
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