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Writing Dialogue

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Alexander Brandenburger

on 6 April 2015

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Transcript of Writing Dialogue

Writing Dialogue
scripting and storyboarding
Effective Dialogue
Good Dialogue:
Moves the story forward and creates tension
Grounded in a scene
Develops character and reveals their relationships to other characters
Dialogue should build (brief but meaningful)
copy and paste as needed and take advantage of an infinite canvas!
Essential questions:
What makes effective dialogue, and why might a writers use dialogue when writing a story?
analyze and understand the components of effective dialogue.
Using those components we will write a short piece of dialogue through storyboarding and scripting.
Effective Dialogue moves the story along

Helps create or alleviate the tension of a scene

Be careful of exposition. Avoid just blatantly stating what the character's motive is.

Sometimes, what's not said is what is more powerful than what is.
Writing effective dialogue means understand your characters

Think about who is talking
what is their motivation
what is their social background
what is life like for them
Who are they, and what do they want

Context matters
how you talk and act in one situation can be completely different from another.
How and when to use Dialogue tags

Want to be selective when using dialogue tags other than "said" or "ask".

Let the dialogue express the ideas you want to convey, and not the dialogue tag. If a character is angry let their words express anger. Avoid angrily, sadly, etc.

Storyboarding and scripting

One effective way to approach dialogue is to chart it out. Set it up either as storyboard, or as a script and then add in the details of the scene around it.

In your groups select a dialogue scenario. Choose what character you will be either character a or character b.
Answer the first part of the worksheet and flesh out the details of your character.
together either script out your dialogue or storyboard your scene utilizing the handout.
After you have your dialogue set up , go back and select a few lines and write them out as if they were part of your story

Ask yourself does this sound like how someone might actually talk. Read it out loud
For example, "Go away," he laughed. Can you really say that line while laughing? Shift the action first
He laughed. "Go away."

Don't force a verb into becoming a dialogue tag. For example, "You'll never get out of here," the evil wizard sneered.
You can't really sneer while speaking a line of dialogue, no matter how evil you are .
Revise the line to read: The evil wizard sneered. "You'll never get out of here."
In your groups select on of the dialogue scenarios, and choose what character's dialogue you want to be responsible for.
Working together take a couple minutes to fill out the context of your scene and characters. Then write out your dialogue using a script format, or storyboard your scene as a comic strip.
After you finish your scenes take a small portion of your dialogue and rewrite as if it was a short story.
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