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Background

I wrote a few paragraphs of a story, again as an assignment a little while ago, but now I plan on completing it. But there is a problem while I am writing. Unlike other short stories that describe a shorter part of life, I want it to be like... a story, story.

'The problem'

The story is in the first-person point of view, told from the perspective of a girl - Zea Owen. Her father died, and she created a shell as most people do, and becomes an introvert. Things happen, she meets a boy named Davis Grey. Now, they converse and the story is moving via it (following the unwritten rules of writing), but Zea is an introvert, I can't abandon her and make her talk all of the sudden. To present it in the writer's hallucination tag: she wants to talk, but I don't want her.

Question

The conversations are kind-of lengthy when they meet, so I want to avoid 'he said' and 'to which I replied.' I want to know if writing long conversation are okay in first-person narration if it moves the story along? How should I write a very long conversation?


My research

On the web, there isn't an explicit discussion on my question, so I didn't find any satisfactory answer. I tried my luck by reading some of the novel written in first-person since I couldn't find any short stories, but the stories were either from the author's point of view or the character took a lot of space explaining himself at every point, so the conversations were greatly separated by narration, thus explaining the story.

Sample

Some narration begins the story and my problem:

He unburdened the pen from my hand while leaving the diary, he gently pushed the diary towards me, and said, “why don’t you hold on to it for some moments?”

Is it right to write this way - narration followed by 'he said' followed by the dialogue? Because I have never seen anything written like this.

Dialogue

This is the introductory conversation in dialogue, which is a walk where they talk about their lives (small talk). I was wondering if this is the right way to proceed with a story in general, and if it is starting to fall apart.

I looked at him, and I looked back at his black diary with golden words; puzzled, as questions flooded, and awkward answers emerged in my head.

“Come on,” he smiled, and started walking towards the ground. “Where?” I interjected.

“A brief walk. You seem to have a lot to talk about,” he said.

“Uh… I am not so sure,” I moved back, my right leg sliding behind the left.

His smile broadened, as he turned toward me, “You have never done this before, have you?” He asked.

I bite my upper lips as my eyes moved up and right, I looked at him again, and then his shoes, black sneakers with white lace. He stood there — amused.

“I am Davis. Davis Grey,” he extended his hands.

“Weren’t you supposed to start with your last name? Like ‘Bond. James Bond,’” I asked.

“You have watched James Bond movies?”

“My dad made me suffer through them.”

“Let’s just assume you didn’t just insult the sanity of Mr. Bond, and > proceed”

I smiled widely and shook his hand. “I am Owen. Zea Owen”

“No… you right out suck at it”

I pulled my hand out of the shake and punched at this arms, covering his left arm with his other palm, he said, “Now have I earned the honour of a walk with your highness?”

“Umm… I guess I can spare a few minutes since I owe you an apology for the diary. But never call me your highness again, I don’t like monarchs,” I said

“I am not sure if Kim is ready to retire, but I guess, we can request him”


Clarifications

  1. I know we are forbidden to ask questions that are based on personal (thingy like... you know what I mean), but if I didn't add 'Summary of the story' and 'The problem' part then I wouldn't have been able to explain, what I meant when I asked you the question. So please don't close this question based on technicalities.

  2. If you think you have understood what I meant from... all of this, unclearness, and perhaps many/some grammatical errors which I missed. Please feel free to edit it.

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I really don't see much problems with your writing. If you have to be descriptive, explaining what the character did, where they look, how they breathed, it is fine.

But if it is simply "he said, she said", those can be ignored and removed unless it helps with the pace/clarity of who is talking/etc. Besides that, only put those in when details are necessary like: "he said, grinning at me sinisterly"

Here is a sample of what I mean:
There are some parts that I do not understand, so I am writing it as I understand it.

I looked at him for a moment, puzzled, before shifting my eyes back down at his black diary with golden words; questions and awkward answers flooded my mind.

“Come on,” he smiled as he started walking towards the ground.

“Where?”

“A brief walk. You seem to have a lot to talk about."

“Uh… I am not so sure,” I moved back, my right leg sliding behind the left.

(no need to add "he asked" at the end since it is obvious that he is asking. Unless you feel it flows better or it makes it clearer to the reader then add it)
His smile broadened as he turned toward me. “You have never done this before, have you?”

(keep it consistent with past-tense. "Bite" vs "bit")
I bit my upper lips as my eyes moved up and right. I looked at him again, and then his shoes, black sneakers with white lace. He stood there — amused.

“I am Davis. Davis Grey,” he extended his hands.

('I asked' here flows better and helps keep the reader imagine the main character asking the question; it feels odd without it but with it, a piece of innocence could be felt from the character)
“Weren’t you supposed to start with your last name? Like ‘Bond. James Bond,’?” I asked.

“You have watched James Bond movies?”

“My dad made me suffer through them.”

“Let’s just assume you didn’t just insult the sanity of Mr. Bond and proceed”

I smiled widely and shook his hand. “I am Owen. Zea Owen”

“No… you right out suck at it”

I pulled my hand out of the shake and punched at his arm.

Covering his left arm with his palm, he responded, “Now have I earned the honor of a walk with your highness?”

“Umm… I guess I can spare a few minutes since I owe you an apology for the diary. But never call me your highness again; I don’t like monarchs,” I told him.

Honestly, rewriting it, I liked the flow of the conversation you have written here. I really don't see it as wordy.

Please separate his actions from hers. Do not put them together since it causes the reader to become confuse and break the flow:

"I pulled my hand out of the shake and punched at this arms, covering his left arm with his other palm, he said, “Now have I earned the honour of a walk with your highness?”

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  • Thanks, your explanation was the thing I needed. It sure looks much better than mine. I was also hoping if you knew something on the topic that DWKraus mentioned in the comments (After the "or" part.) – Momobear Feb 9 at 0:45
  • After the mention of the dialogue: "I am Davis. Davis Grey." Your comment about innocence is really nice. I wouldn't have noticed the feel it gave to the character's voice, extending her personality, it's great. – Momobear Feb 9 at 0:46
  • I truly compliment your writing. It is really good and got me curious of the plot and wanting to know what happens next. Feel free to take the style of wording on the example. The more you write, the better you get at it. :) – WriterGeek1 Feb 9 at 0:57
  • When I started writing many many years ago, I searched for examples of writing on yahoo answers. The examples people gave there are magnificent. (I google search things like "How to describe falling in love in a story yahoo answers"). Fictionpress is also a website with lots of people sharing their fiction stories. I read some there too and get ideas how to approach certain scenes. It is nice there are so many creative people in this world. We're not alone! – WriterGeek1 Feb 9 at 0:59
  • The question: "trying to break up the conversation but want it to flow naturally in a way that doesn't break character if first person". I honestly do not understand what this mean and would need an example. – WriterGeek1 Feb 9 at 1:01

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