Question: Okay, I know this question seems quite stupid but I'm asking it anyway.
I was wondering how do you know if your story has too much dialogue? I know I have a bit of a descriptive problem. Lots of my scenes consists of dialogue, conversation between two to three characters. Is that terribly bad, I mean to me, it's how I can comfortably depict my characters, through the way they speak.
Do you have any tips to overcome this issue?Answer:
The fact that you ask this question suggests that you think you may have too much dialogue.
Assuming you're right, here's a couple of things you might do...
1. Don't let dialogue happen in a vacuum. In other words, don't just write ping-pong dialogue with nothing else happening in the scene. Dialogue is great for revealing character and relationships and how they evolve. However, scenes can involve other things such as...
a) Plot. Having your characters do something while they talk - ideally something that forwards the plot - lets your scene do double duty.
b) Inner conflict. Have you included the main character's internal responses, thoughts, and emotions? It can be rather fun if the main character is trying to carry on a conversation while thinking about something completely different or observing something happening in the distance.
c) Setting. Little reminders of what's present or happening in the environment can help ground the scene and help it feel authentic.
d) Body language. While you usually can't relate what's happening in the head of anyone other than the main character, much can be communicated through other characters' physical gestures and facial expressions. Gestures are a great way to add subtext.
2. Always go through your dialogue and take out every line that isn't necessary. Make sure you know what the core of the conversation is (the relationship change) and cut the rest. Put as much exposition as you can in narration rather than dialogue.
3. You might also try breaking up a dialogue with an action event, and then resuming the conversation afterward. Variety can help a lot with pacing.