It takes time to write a good dialogue sequence for any film or television. Dialogues are important because they help flesh out your characters while giving viewers a break from exposition.
Learning to write good dialogue is key if you want to write for a movie, television or even just creating video shorts. Aspiring screenwriters would do great knowing how to make use of this and at the same time, those who are directing the scene or creating videos would also benefit.
So, whether you’re just starting out and cranking the day away at a video production company somewhere in New York, it would do you good to know some of these tips professionals use to create dialogue for film and TV.
1. Always Make It Sound Natural
Listening to how people talk should be your primary task if you want to incorporate natural-sounding dialogue into your work. Pay attention to people’s natural speech patterns, as well as your own. Also, be attentive to the expressions people use and the rhythm of the conversation. Sometimes people don’t use full sentences when they speak to each other or sometimes they don’t use words at all. Don’t be afraid to eavesdrop and take notes of how something is said. As mentioned, what’s not being said is also as important – it can communicate plenty of other information like disdain, negative feelings, anger or disapproval.
2. No Need to Be Purely Realistic
When you start listening to actual conversations and paying attention to even how you talk, you’ll be surprised it never looks as polished as you imagine. People talk in pauses, in “ums” and “ers.” Sometimes they talk over one another. If you want to have a realistic dialogue incorporated into your video production, make sure to cut out the unnecessary things unless you need it for a specific purpose in the scene or story.
3. Be Subtle When Giving Away Information
Readers and viewers don’t like to be fed huge chunks of important information in just one go. That’s going to cause information overload. Allow the story to unfold naturally without overloading your dialogue. Sometimes, it’s easier to remember when crucial information is fed in portions. Never rush to tell your story at once, just share what’s important at the right moment of the story.
4. Always Add The Right Punctuation
When writing a script for television or creating a dialogue for your film, don’t underestimate the power of good punctuation. Punctuating dialogue properly can give you a good impact especially when you’re trying to convey a certain emotion, mood or tone. A lot of writers think they can overlook this fact and it won’t have a huge impact, but this a faulty idea to adopt. Your actors and narrators will take the cue from your punctuation when they deliver their lines. Misplaced commas or inconsistently placed ones, for instance, can transform the delivery of a sentence.
5. Get Right to the Meat of Things
Eliminate the greetings and other small that your characters make, unless it’s part of who they are or part of the story, and just get your characters talking. Your dialogues need to be concise without skipping a beat of what’s essential to the story or the scene. Paying attention to this and cutting back on the unnecessary hello’s or goodbye’s could help you better communicate through language and action right away.
Bonus: Insert Action Between Dialogues
Your characters are physical human beings, they need to perform an action and not just talk all day. When creating a screenplay, dialogues are often broken up by descriptions – these describe where the character is or what they’re doing. It’s easier for your actors or narrators to visualize what the scene is all about when you break it up and not just deliver long lines of dialogue.
Creating a professional dialogue is crucial if you want to work in the entertainment industry. Aspiring screenwriters, filmmakers, television writers or even actors can benefit from knowing what goes on behind the scenes and how everything is put together.