Under the weather today, so a quick post.
How do we feel about novels that begin with dialogue?
I won’t prejudice the results with my opinion, although in a departure from Can I Get A Rulings from the past, I’ll allow a third response.
Nathan Bransford | Writing, Book Editing, Publishing
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I think it can work very well, but as with anything else, a bad writer can mess it up completely. It’s a useful technique, though, and can get the reader right into the middle of the goings-on and start showing them who the characters are and what they’re into, more quickly and easily than a paragraph of description.
“You wanna see nuts?” he bellowed, his eyes bulging. “Oh, I’ll show you nuts.”
As a hook, dialogue can be just as effective as narrative. But like anything else, you can screw it up, too. No one thought that writing in second person was such a good idea until Chuck Palahniuk did it–and very effectively. But unless you’re the Hitchcock of your genre, I wouldn’t make a habit out of it either. After a while, it would become stale and predictable.