So today, the type of dialogue we’re looking at today is Explanation.
During Explanation, a character is explaining something. (Duh) But this can be pretty boring.
Usually, Explanation is either a) a character being explained to how to use something or b) the villain explaining their evil mastermind plans.
Back in grade 7, in some books I wrote, I noticed how difficult it is to convincingly write in a reason for a villain to start explaining things. It can’t very well be spontaneous, and they need a real reason, other than ‘I guess you want to know what’s going on’.
I’m still no genius at this. But I have gotten better. I’ve also read some books with several reasons flying around.
(Most of them the ‘I guess you want to know what’s going on’ one, but let’s ignore that fact)
So obviously, the first rule about this is that you need a good reason.
As I’ve pretty much already stated.
What kinds of good reasons can a villain have to go and blab everything about their plans?
To the books where the characters tried to get them to tell them their plans by saying that ‘you’re going to kill me anyway‘ and the villains didn’t fall for it, I give you a tip of the hat. It’s such a lame excuse! Don’t use it. EVER. I mean, wouldn’t it just be crueler to kill them without them knowing what the plan is? And there’s always the chance that they’ll escape. (As they usually do) So don’t use this one.
One I find might work is gloating. If this character is crazy and defeats the MC, they might want to gloat about it, laying everything out all nicely for them. Or if they just like gloating in general. But if the villain is a quiet, smart person, then don’t make them gloat. It’s not their personality.
Being forced to is also a very good one. If the villain is in a very tight corner, and the characters force them to talk, that is actually a believable way.
A GREAT way is by tricking them. Think Zootopia, at the end.
Threatening is also a great way. If the MC somehow has something the villain wants – maybe some potion of everlasting life or whatever – and they threaten to smash it unless they talk, they can blackmail them into telling them. And then, you know, they still might smash it afterward. 😂
So here’s the Do’s and Dont’s for writing Explanation:
- Have them talk because ‘I bet you want to know’
- Have them talk because ‘they’re going to kill the MC anyway’
- Let them gloat about it
- Force them into it
- Trick them to talk
- Blackmail them
I feel like I did really good with this post. 😉
So around the time I was writing Once Upon a Goose, read my older sister’s book that she’s been working on for a couple of years (first in the trilogy) and watched the second Maze Runner movie, I had a really weird dream that kind of became a cool plot bunny. I hung out with it for a couple of days, getting new ideas for it, but no plot whatsoever for it.
On Saturday, I sat down and began doing an Idea Dump. On Sunday, I had a pretty good idea of what the plot would be.
So now I’m doing a very in-depth outline of it. I’m making sure we don’t have another Once Upon a Goose (this is literally going to be a thing now 😂).
Basically, this new book is like a mash-up of Beauty and the Beast, Jack Frost, and The Snow Queen. And it has romance. But as we saw from Once Upon a Goose, that is not exactly one of my writing strengths. *nervous laugh* Soooo I guess we’ll see how this goes.
New Mailing List!
The course is ready, as promised last week! 😄 You can sign up by three ways:
- Go to my new FREEBIES page, and sign up for the first thing. (HERE’S a link!)
- Scroll to the bottom of this page (or any page) and sign up through the form there.
- Click HERE and be led straight to the page! 😉
I have a question for you guys:
Are you interested in any book-related posters or bookmarks? And if you are, would like a) ones that are colorful b) you can color in or c) both? Please tell me in the comments below! 😄 Thank you!
Okay, I’m almost done, I promise! But I hope you guys will be excited to hear that I’m opening up spots for Alpha Readers for my book, The Triad of Caosdif!
For those of you who are confused: Beta Reader = person who readers book after it’s all done and has been edited and rewritten Alpha Reader = person who reads as the book is being written
I have already written the first draft of this book and started just under a year ago, actually. I am currently rewriting it and hoped that some of you might be willing to Alpha Read it. All I’m looking for in Alpha Reading is seeing how you react to the writing, the characters, what you think of it in general, and what you think will happen next. I’ll even email a quick how-to on how to make comments in a Microsoft Word Document! 😃
If you are interested in doing this, please head on to the Contact page and email me there! I reserve the right to say no to some people, (family members – because I need you guys for the nitty-gritty editing phase – or people I’ve never seen before on my blog) but you’ll probably get to if you just email me. 😉
As a side/ending note, I realized that I’ve actually passed the 6-month mark for blogging! It was on the 8th, which was just over a week ago.
What do you think about all these kinds of ways for Explanation?
Can you relate to some of the annoying ones? 😂
Are you interested in my new book idea?
Are you excited for the Writer’s Block course? 😉
Are you interested in any of the stuff I talked about above?
And are you interested in Alpha Reading?
18 thoughts on “How to Keep your Novel Interesting with Dialogue: Explanation”
I loved this post. I have been looking for reasons for my villains to tell their plans, but nothing worked. This is so helpful! Also: Bookmarks and Posters? I WANT THEM ALL!!! I really want a poster of The Storm Inside!! A bookmark would be awesome too!! Keep up the awesome work!
I’m glad it helped! 😄 Haha, I’ll definitely keep that in mind! (I don’t know how well I could make stuff on my book, but hey, I can try. 😉) Thanks!
Oh yes! I definitely get annoyed with the villain monologues because “the character is about to die anyway”…it’s so unrealistic?! I think it’s slightly more realistic to do the gloating, because it’s actually a symptom of psychopathy to need an audience for your antics. Otherwise it’s boring for them. (Yikes.😂) Some other ones I do to get the villain talking without it seeming contrived is make the hero/heroine overhear villains talking. So it’s a bit more natural!
Definitely! That is a really good idea. 😱 I need to use that one sometime! 😃
I nominated you for The Mystery Blogger Award!!
Thank you so much, Ariana! 😄 I’ll do this as soon as the dialogue series is over!
Also, I’m hosting a writing contest at the mo, if you’re interested? All the details are on my blog.
Cool! I’ll have to go check it out! 😃
Thanks for entering! I replied to your email!
Wow! Great post! I always find your posts about writing super helpful. I’m actually writing my novel at the moment so this was. So. Helpful. What is your novel about?
Thanks! I’m glad that it is! 😃 Cool! The one I’m rewriting is actually talked about on the My Books page, but I’ll probably change it so that 1) it makes more sense 2) sounds more interesting. 😆 But basically, there are 3 triplets. The middle one is the villain, and he throws his siblings in the dungeon, but then an assassin helps the 3rd one out (the main character) (the triplet, not the assassin) and they’re on the run, with the assassin trying to train the triplet how to fight, so she can overthrow the second one! 😃
I hope that made sense. 😂
That sounds great!
This was SUCH a helpful post! I feel like I have NO REASON AT ALL for explanation, so these tips helped.
Also, for the book posters/bookmarks- I want BOTH! Especially posters- one can never have too many posters 😂
Also, I CAN NOT write romance to save my life. It’s either cheesy or cliché- usually both!
Also, CONGRATULATIONS ON SIX MONTHS OF BLOGGING!!!!! 🎉🎉🎉 THAT’S SO COOL!
This was such a cool post!! Also, I apologize for the abundance of capital letters in my comment 😊
Yes! It’s taken me a long time to find all these, so I’m really glad to share them with others! 😃
Awesome! *rubs hands together evilly* I’ll definitely remember that! 😉
YES! SAME! 😂
Thank you so much!! 😄 I was just doing my daily business and then suddenly was like, “Wait a second… I’VE BEEN BLOGGING FOR HOW LONG?!” 😂
Thanks! Haha, no problem! I do it all the time in comments as well. 😝