Monday, February 21, 2011
Can Dialog Be Too Fast?
I'm reading a book right now and the first two chapters are basically a Prologue for what is going to happen later. Books from 50 years ago might have had a huge information dump to give all the back story details. Remember, some of those authors were paid by the word.
That doesn't fly with today's readers. In the age of the Internet, you start as close to the end of the story and work your way back, at least that's what we're told.
Seems like good advice. Get the story rocking, get the reader involved and then give them the information dump.
Up until now, I've agreed with this approach, but this latest book has me scratching my head a little. It almost seems too fast.
It could be the author's style, short sentences tend to make the action seem faster. Long ones tend to slow things down. But it seems more than that. The exchanges are so lightning fast between characters that I almost feel like I'm sitting at the center of a tennis match watching the ball go back and forth between players.
Is there such a thing as dialog that's too fast?