16. Dialogue that kills
Want to write dialogue to make Aaron Sorkin blush? Want to write dialogue to make Tarantino’s weird backward cap blow off? (Seriously, what is that thing?) Just follow the exercises below.
You wanna be a contender? You wanna be somebody?
When watching a movie, type up the dialogue being spoken on screen. This gets you in the habit of physically writing great professional dialogue, seeing it right in front of you; it embeds what dialogue should be into your mind and hands.
Do I really sound like that?
Next time you’re subtly observing people in your local coffee shop, note how they speak to each other. People don’t speak in perfect sentences. Notice how people’s speech is disjointed.
Notice how people communicate physically, too. Remember: you don’t always need words. People give more away in their actions than their words.
This exercise will strengthen your ability to write authentic-sounding characters.
Jump in and write the first act of your script – the start of your “slab of clay” draft, what some writers call “draft zero”. The point is to provide an overview or preview of your final product.