Dialogue, along with action is the playground of every screenwriter. It forms the backbone of most screenplays and must be treated with care.
Dialogue is the words actors say and how they say it. It is their verbal DNA. It illuminates their character, their background and their motivation
Quality dialogue works on several different levels by revealing plot/ exposition, character and subtext. It creates excitement and shows the current events and what might happen next. It suggests a possible story outcome.
Dialogue can be manipulated in a number of ways to enhance your screenwriting. Let’s look at some common ways to do this:
1) WORD CHOICE
This includes slang, formal, casual, colloquial, dialect, repetition and vernacular language.
2) NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS
This includes incorrect pronunciations, malapropisms, misuse of words and expressions, suffixes such as “eh?”, clippin’ endings and grammatical errors.
3) SENTENCE STRUCTURE
This includes speaking in fragments, complete sentences, phrases.
This includes flow, pauses, silence and speed.
This includes modulation, volume, whispering compared to silence
This helps reveal subtext and underlying emotion. It also emphasizes key dialogue.
This includes “omygod” and “totally like.”
8) PET WORDS
This category includes “pumpkin”, “honey bunch” and “cupcake.”
A good example includes “What up, my brother?”
This is just a short list of ways to ratchet up the dialogue in your screenwriting. I hope you find them useful.
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