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Written by 8:05 am Screenwriting

How To Write Great Dialogue in 2023: Tips and Examples

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Recall a great film that you may have seen in recent years. What has been the most cinematic takeaway from that film?

I am always drawn to how the characters interact in a movie. I often relate to the plot and characters through dialogue.

Dialogues make a script come to life. 

However, writing dialogues can be a tricky business. But fret not my friend; you have landed up at a safe place to learn how to write great dialogue. Let us look at some of the pointers that you may keep in mind the next time you write dialogues for a script.

The dialogue should be in sync with the context and the character

It is the responsibility of the dialogue writer to ensure that the dialogue fits the character. It should stem from the story’s context and mustn’t feel haywire. 

Make sure each character follows a different dialogue trajectory.

To put it another way, no character in the story should speak like any other character.  Each of them should have a distinct speaking style.  

Each character should have a name.

You may come across scripts that have characters with extremely small roles. You may feel it is unnecessary to name them in such a case. However, committing this blunder may result in writing characters who speak alike. 

Write realistically 

We all have witnessed scripts that demarcate good characters from bad characters. So, for example, in a superhero plot, the hero will be all glitter and gold while the villain is entirely evil. The dialogues also reflect this ideology.

Instead of operating in the black and white framework, you add depth to the characters when you add grey details. 

The dialogue should not outrightly convey what is on your character’s mind. 

‘On the nose’ dialogues that immediately give away what is on your character’s mind tend to hamper the narrative flow – distracting the audience and making them lose interest.

Less is more 

In cases where you can avoid dialogue and convey what you intend to say with the help of visual aids, let’s say images or actions, do it right away. 

Avoid “voice-over verbatims.” 

The voice-over narration should never repeat what the audience is seeing on screen. It should work in contrast to the action of the story. 

Give your actors fleshy dialogues.   

The dialogue should be easy to consume and must offer the actors the opportunity to do justice with their acting skills. 

Make sure the protagonist has the most influential lines in the story. 

I hope you find this helpful blog and refer to it for future dialogue writing projects.  You can enroll to online screenwriting course as well

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