Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A Short Word About Dialogue

Dialogue has always been a strong point for me.  That’s why plays are easy for me to write.  I have an ear for how people talk and I can transfer that to paper.  Now, I struggle with description, which we’ll tackle another day.  You may be the opposite of me.  So, how can you get better at dialogue?  Here are some pointers:

 

Listen - When talking with people or in a crowded place, listen to people and how they talk.  How do they put their words together, phrases?  You may even write some of it down.  Once story I remember, now whether or not it’s true is beyond me, is about Quentin Terintino.  Before he made Pulp Fiction, he sat in a bathroom stall and wrote down a conversation he heard going on.  From that conversation came his most famous movie.

Transcribe - I talked about this above.  You have to sit down and write the conversations.  One thing you can do is record a conversation, then transcribe it in story form.  No, it may not make for a good story, but this is just for practice.

 

Practice - Practice.  Practice.  Practice.  You only get better at something by doing it.  If you know this is your weak spot, do more and learn more.  You may never be a playwright, but you will be a better write in your own right.

 

Any good writing resource can give you the rules for using quotation marks.  If you are a writer, you should already have at least one of these reference books in your writing space.

 

 

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