Thursday, December 13, 2012

Written on

Can We Have More Dialogue In Sci-Fi Romance, Pretty Please?

I get urges for various elements in my science fiction romance reading now and then. Today, it’s dialogue.

Actually, it’s been that way for a while. I blogged a bit about my love of good dialogue before, and ever since then I’ve been hankering for science fiction romances that feature lots of dialogue between the hero and heroine.

It’s possible that I’ve not yet read the stories that are more dialogue heavy. And by dialogue heavy I don’t mean wall-to-wall dialogue throughout the story (although I’d probably enjoy that given the right premise).

Rather, I’d like to encounter some lengthy, meaty conversations between couples. Pages and pages of it. Conversations that are independent of mental lusting or introspection about the burgeoning romance. What I’d love to read is a story where some of the romance develops through extensive verbal exchanges.

You know, something fun. Like this:

However, asking for more dialogue might be something of a tall order. Occasionally, I’ve run across instances where one character asks a question or makes a statement and the other never responds! Usually this is the case when two or three paragraphs of introspection/mental lusting occur between lines of dialogue. I sometimes wonder if the author simply forgot to insert a response.

Another issue I encounter is that a character will speak, the POV character has a paragraph or four of introspection, and then the first character keeps talking. There are times when this scenario makes sense but other times when it doesn’t. Sometimes the expository passages are so lengthy that I have to go back and refresh my memory about the last line of dialogue spoken. I’m like, “What were they talking about again?”

I once read that manuscripts with lots of dialogue were red flags for editors of mainstream print romance publishers because more dialogue leads to a higher page count. So avoiding manuscripts that are dialogue heavy would presumably save the publisher money.

But that’s not the case with ebooks. And yet I continue to encounter stories that take that approach. To me the idea of holding back on dialogue is an artificial constraint upon stories. Digital technology has made some publishing “rules” obsolete.

In addition to the romance, dialogue could be used to describe technology, the culture in which the characters live, and convey a character’s personality. Dialogue is a superb way to convey humor. I love snappy, funny dialogue. And conflict-laden dialogue. The suspense of anticipating what a hero or heroine will say is as exciting to me as what they are going to do.

More dialogue is what’s on my sci-fi romance wish list. What’s on yours?

Joyfully yours,