Thursday, July 5, 2012

When is Too Much Dialog Too Much?

We all like a nice light and airy, not a lot of thinking required books now and then. For me, that usually means some erotica/romance novel.
Now, I admit my own writing can be a little heavy on the dialog at times, but the two books I read had me groaning "Oh Come on!" in the style of  "Arrested Development" most of the time.

Both books were so heavy on the dialog that I was shocked when there was a moment where no one was talking. Then again, through the one book I was in the characters head so much I hated her. HATED HER.
H.A.T.E.D.  One of the reviewers on Amazon likened her to an emotional noodle and that pretty much sums it up. I almost wanted her to end up alone in a fetal position because she was just one big dimension of self pity. Every five minutes we were reminded by her vocalizing it to someone else or in her head that she couldn't let the man of her ever loving dreams in because he would hate what he would find. Or when he did get in and the sex scenes started, they talked so much I was surprised there was time for him to even get an erection. He was talking her off a cliff for half of the book because she was so "shattered". The heroine's story line was at best thrown together last minute to show why she was "broken" and determined to live like a nun suppressing her submissive side. There was paragraph after paragraph of dialog between the characters describing every single emotion known to mankind. The other interesting thing for me was that I recognized a lot of the dialog from a few other books the author had written.
This brings me to why a series can suck. When you are using the same seduction lines, the same back stories (all the Dominant males are big and tall, attractive sexy types that have more money than God) and the same Master/Submissive language in every book even if the series are different, I will recognize it. Am I trying to slander published author? No, God Bless her making cash, but please try harder to not have all your characters sound the freakin' same! I do not care how amazing you think the phrase is, PLEASE USE IT ONLY FOR THE ONE BOOK AND CHARACTER AND MOVE ON. Not every male in your various series should say the same words at the same time every time.
As for all the alpha males, in this book, there were five of them and they all have their own book in the series, mind you. When their beloved "brother"  is all bent out of shape because he wants this woman so much, they all get involved. Side step here - And we are given a detailed description of each of them as they enter the room. Why in the name of all that is holy can't someone write, "Henry walked in the room, his red hair disheveled from running his hands through it while contemplating how to win Jessica's love." No, instead we get, "Henry was an ex-Marine who was well over six foot two, broad shoulders, copper colored hair that hung low on his high forehead, high cheekbones and a gorgeous face. Why couldn't Jessica see how much he wanted her? Every time she looked at him with those big green eyes and opened that pouty mouth he could feel the blood rush to all his perfect features. His mouth watered every time she walked past him. That  buxom figure constricted by her conservative dress ripe for the picking."
Add to that there was always a friggin' pow wow between the friends and we are reminded how wealthy they all are, how scrappy, how well hung and whose heart they won, over and over again.
Conversation between characters is crucial. It shows us, the reader, a lot about them, but there is overkill. When things get mentioned more than three times or when a sex scene is filled with so much dialog you start to feel like you are in a therapy session instead of a dungeon with whips and love, you need to rethink what you are doing as the author. I get that Happy Endings are required in these genre novels, but must we be talked to death to get there?


No comments:

Post a Comment