Re: Dialogue Required?

#10
GeorgeHosokawaReforged Wrote: Is it required, necessary, or optional?

It is a legal requirement to have dialogue in your story. Congress passed the Every Character Has A Voice Act, or ECHV, in 1995 under the Clinton Administration. It was a bipartisan bill that required any author writing a story to give all main, main supporting, and minor supporting characters a certain amount of dialogue. Failure to abide by this law carries penalties of up to $250,000 in fines and up to 5 years in jail. Some states might have their own laws on top of this, but I couldn't tell you about that.

The law was almost strengthened during the Obama Administration, when he was pushing really hard to pass the Affordable Words Act, but Republicans ran pretty hard against "Obamaspeak" and the bill never made it past committee.

Re: Dialogue Required?

#11
TienSwitch Wrote:
GeorgeHosokawaReforged Wrote: Is it required, necessary, or optional?

It is a legal requirement to have dialogue in your story. Congress passed the Every Character Has A Voice Act, or ECHV, in 1995 under the Clinton Administration. It was a bipartisan bill that required any author writing a story to give all main, main supporting, and minor supporting characters a certain amount of dialogue. Failure to abide by this law carries penalties of up to $250,000 in fines and up to 5 years in jail. Some states might have their own laws on top of this, but I couldn't tell you about that.

The law was almost strengthened during the Obama Administration, when he was pushing really hard to pass the Affordable Words Act, but Republicans ran pretty hard against "Obamaspeak" and the bill never made it past committee.
Uh, you're not lying to me, are you...

Re: Dialogue Required?

#13
It depends. If your book doesn't require any dialogue (e.g., if it's just one person alone in the wilderness), then it's perfectly fine.

But whatever you do, don't include a bunch of conversations by summarizing what the dialogue would have been if there'd actually been any dialogue. e.g., don't do something like this:

"I spoke to my brother next and told him what Sam had told me about the trip to Europe. My brother suggested I should talk to our dad next, but Dad didn't want me to go. He thought I should stay home instead and get a summer job. I told him I didn't want to work for my last summer before college, but he said if I wanted to keep living at home, he was going to start charging rent. Mom agreed with him, even though she'd originally thought the European trip was a good idea."

I see this a lot with amateur writing, and it's bad (and often goes on for page after page). It's like they're summarizing what the story would have been if they'd actually written it, but they didn't bother to actually write it. A quick summary is fine once in a while when a full scene isn't necessary, but if your book is summarizing every conversation because you want to avoid dialogue for some arbitrary reason, don't do it.