This week, I'm talking about characters and dialogue~
How people speak is the one thing that I find writers struggle with the most.
I’m not sure why this happens, my guess is that people are focusing on trying to be a good writer instead of focusing on why the characters are saying what they are saying.
I’m here to help with that because I have so much experience reading scripts for the studios for both TV & film, as well as working one on one with writers for the last 13 years.
Maybe it’s because I talk too much—my mom used to sing me that song from the 50s–YOU TALK TOO MUCH—lol It used to hurt my feelings a little but now I embrace it. I’m a talker. I love words so much and I always have something to say—it’s who I am. If I was a character in a show or book or movie—she would talk a lot.
I’m like the real like Lorelai Gilmore and often have wondered if Amy Sherman-Palladino was sitting behind me at some point in Los Angeles and was like “I have a character now” haha I also love SNOW and COFFEE! ….okay, really joking around.. but I am a lot like that character.
So talking is kind of my thing.
I love dialogue-driven scripts, books, and films if they are done well.
Today’s TIP is to resist the urge to write in perfect grammar when your characters are speaking. I know that sounds obvious but you have no idea how many times I see this when going over other writers' work. It’s like as a writer people are afraid to not write perfectly. Be careful though we do not speak in perfect grammar ever in real life so in stories your characters won’t either.
Make sure that everything your character says is there for a reason and accomplishes something specifically for your story, either, showing us WHO the character is or moving the story forward-even better, have it do both!
It's so important to have strong dialogue that is purposeful but this is where many writers fall flat.
HOMEWORK—watch a show you LOVE, or re-read a book you love, and write down the dialogue as the characters are speaking–you will see what I mean.
Live, Love, Create!