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Jonathan Hickman

How far should dialogue go?

We read this critique by Corey Schroeder of a Jonathan Hickman title:

“I’ve said it of Hickman before, but the man does not stop for a second to explain or even elucidate in some cases what his characters are talking about or doing, which can make his books extraordinarily difficult to follow at times. Certainly the broad strokes of what’s going on are crystal clear, but the details, and the devils within, are harder to track and follow. Expository dialog can be the thing that brings a book down, but it can also elevate it by letting the audience in on what’s going on, and what’s been going on, and there’s certainly a balance to be struck between too much and none.” (

We’ve mentioned this before in several contexts: we support minimalistic dialogues where characters don’t spend a lot of time explaining their feelings or summarizing recent events. To avoid these types of situations, we prefer to slow the pace down so our characters can debate the pros and cons of their choices, rather than rushing ahead and then explaining what happened after the fact.