The book relies on body language and non-verbal cues to tell the story. See, it's story of isolation, and if the character is isolated, or in Henry's case, alone with his non-vocalizing dogs, the writer can't rely on dialogue to tell the story.
And I did NOT want to use the trick as seen in Cast Away, where the writer used a volleyball to introduce dialogue! CHEATER!
So to tell this story, I relied on body language, scenery, actions and movements, and visual cues. For much of the book, Henry doesn't speak.
Furthermore, internalizations bug me. I don't mind when they're done tastefully, but most of the time the internalization could be better demonstrated with an action or a decision (a choice: SHOW ME!). So, with that in mind, I avoided internalizations as well as dialogue.
Body Language Blogfest from Eric Trant
Excerpt from Walk With Me Into the Darkness. Henry is in the East Texas Piney Woods, aka The Big Thicket. This is where I grew up, and in fact, I've lived scenes very much like the one below.
Henry is about 8 years old.
Yes, I have one line of dialogue.
The woodpecker stopped hammering. All Henry could hear was the sound of Whiskey whimpering and his own grunted breaths as he struggled against the creek mud.
Whiskey held off and wouldn't approach Henry. The dog paced back-and-forth and whined but wouldn't come near him. Every time the dog's paws sucked into the mud, Whiskey would back up and whine and pace and stare sideways at Henry.
Finally, responding to Henry's continued coos, Whiskey took one step, and then another, his tail and head level with his body as he stepped into something that smelled and looked of death. The dog's paws sunk in to his elbows but he yanked them free and pulled himself toward Henry, measuring each step of progress with long seconds of excursion. Henry pet the dog's head and let him lick his face and then he managed to turn Whiskey away from him. Henry took hold of the dog's tail with both hands.
Whiskey snapped at Henry and fired a machine-gun chant of high-pitched yelps. The dog couldn't turn enough to get his teeth into Henry, but he slapped his neck against his side trying to force Henry to release his tail.
Tugging the dog's tail, Henry pushed with his legs and pulled with his arms as Whiskey bellied himself out of the bog. The leaning over had released a bit of the suction and Henry felt himself coming free of the mud. The creek still had hold of his legs and so he shook himself side-to-side like a swimming fish until his waist and thighs broke free, and then his calves and feet came loose and he lay prone on top of the mud.
Whiskey's paws dug into drier ground the dog managed to get enough of a twist to slap his teeth into Henry's left hand. The dog twisted its tail out of Henry's hands and yelping with his tail tucked he ran a few meters away from Henry and crouched there licking his tail and showing Henry the whites of his eyes and teeth. The mud had blackened the white blaze on Whiskey's chest and the modest white socks on the dog's feet.
Henry belly-crawled until the ground felt firm enough to stand. Mud caked him from the chest down. Leaves sucked onto Henry like giant leaches. His right boot was gone and his pants had been pulled down to his ankles. He lifted his pants into place and sat beneath the tree until his woodpecker heart stopped banging against his chest.
He stood and unhitched the cleaned squirrel from the tree and patted his leg and smacked his lips at the dog. Whiskey shied away from him. Black but for the brown of his eyes and the white of his teeth and the pink of his tongue. Henry stood there patting his thigh and calling to the him until Whiskey finally came within arm's length of Henry.
"Here you go, boy. Good boy, good Whiskey."
Henry dropped the squirrel in front of Whiskey.