Pilar Alessandra, script consultant, gives a few tips on removing the flatness from your dialogue.
COME IN LATE, LEAVE EARLY
Begin on a conflict and end on a question, cliffhanger or strong out line.
Screenwriting isn’t speech writing. Can you cut down your dialogue to one line that encapsulates its meaning?
PLAY VERBAL GAMES
Be sarcastic, joking, playful or condescending. Modulate tone and volume to alter the meaning. Talk in code, lingo or riddles. Change the subject, add flattery, answer a question with another question, delete key or cliched words or wholly embrace or avoid the truth.
They include catch phrases, expressions and idioms.
Replace dialogue that state feelings with subtle actions that show them.
USE THE LANGUAGE OF THE CHARACTER
Based on their profession, stage of life, age speech patterns and speech impediments.
Cut greetings, small talk and verbal introductions unless they serve the agenda of the scene.
ELIMINATE STATIC PHONE CALL SCENES
Create activity that keeps the camera and plot moving.