Improving Your Script’s Dialogue

Dialogue is one of the hardest things to write, and lucky for us screenwriters, it’s basically all we write. When I started my first script, I remember being terrified at this realization–I’m great at description, just let me do that! But in reality, the description is ultimately up to the director, so we should take full advantage of the one place writers do have control: the dialogue

I came across a couple of really interesting articles that may be useful for all the aspiring screenwriters out there  in helping to improve your script’s dialogue. The first is actually useful for any kind of writing, and it talks about redundancy. Eliminating redundancy in your script is essential–every word counts when you only have a set number of pages within which to tell your story, so why say the same thing twice? Check out the article here.

50 Redundant Phrases Writers Should Avoid
Mark Nichol @DailyWritingTips

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In conversation, it’s easy in the midst of spontaneous speech to succumb to verbosity and duplication. In writing, redundancy is less forgivable but fortunately easy to rectify.”

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And the second article is quite fun for even non-writers. I always thought it would be fun to write a show set in a prison, but I have zero knowledge of how people really talk on the inside. This article has 50 examples of prison slang to help you write realistic dialogue for a prison setting, or to just help you sound like a tough guy. Check it out here.

50 Prison Slang Words To Make You Sound Like a Tough Guy
Matt Sniak @ mental_floss

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We’ve been just a little bit obsessed with old timey and subcultural slang here at the Floss as of late, and today we’re going to mine one of the richest sources for weird slang and code-talk: criminals. Here are some choice bits of prison lingo we’ve gathered from slang dictionaries, true crime stories, prisoners’ memoirs, and correctional officers.”

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