Monday, January 28, 2013

Dialogue Doctor

By Julie Daines

I recently had to put together some pages of dialogue that could be used as an audition scene for actors. This was in preparation for filming a book trailer.

No problem, I thought. I can just lift some dialogue out of a scene and stick it on a screenplay template in my Scrivener app. The Scrivener part was easy, but I learned something about dialogue in the process.

When I took my characters' dialogue away from all the tags and beats and internal thought woven through it and had to stick to JUST the words the characters speak, something happened.

My dialogue went from awesome to lame. Fast. Wake up call.

If I want to check my dialogue and make sure it sounds realistic, age appropriate, and organic (which is a fancy way of saying not cheesy), all I have to do is remove my perfectly placed tags, beats, and interiority and look at the words all by themselves.

Want to analyze your dialogue and kick it up a notch? Give it a try. You'll be surprised!

Shameless self promotion: I'm running a giveaway contest on my blog this week. Anyone can enter to win two wonderful books.

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