Over-reliance on dialogue continues to be rampant in the manuscripts that come across my desk. In fact, over the past year it’s supplanted perspective issues as the #1 issue that plagues the not-yet-published, at least from my vantage point.
When writers rely on dialogue too much, problems can really cascade. There’s often not enough physical description to conjure a sense of place, cramming exposition into conversations is invariably clunky, and, honestly, it’s not always interesting to read a series of scenes with two characters who are just sitting around having very contrived conversations.
Even novels that have a lot of dialogue need to supplement the chatter with other storytelling elements. Colleen Hoover fans, look at the way she peppers her conversations with judicious thought processes and physical description!
There’s a particular subset of this issue that I’ve seen quite a lot lately: characters asking leading questions that don’t make any sense just so the other character in the conversation can deliver exposition.