Author Topic: Dialogue in screenplays  (Read 1429 times)

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KJ

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Dialogue in screenplays
« on: April 04, 2018, 05:10:52 PM »
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jenkins

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 06:09:44 PM »
+1
you're doing a great job  :yabbse-thumbup:

pete

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 07:48:25 PM »
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what's happening
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KJ

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2018, 09:56:36 AM »
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what's happening

I shared some scenes that I wrote in English, but regretted it.

I can't delete the thread, so I guess we can use it to talk about other stuff. what's up with you, pete?

Sleepless

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 10:23:31 AM »
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Really thought you were mimicking PTA's style, but I guess that's ...
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KJ

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 10:56:27 AM »
+1
Really thought you were mimicking PTA's style, but I guess that's ...

yeah, i am aware of that. I was. I am. when do you think that becomes a problem? because i am just trying to figure out my own style. I don't want to mimic him, and I understand that there's a difference between mimicking someone and being inspired by someone.

WorldForgot

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 11:28:20 AM »
+1
Really thought you were mimicking PTA's style, but I guess that's ...

yeah, i am aware of that. I was. I am. when do you think that becomes a problem? because i am just trying to figure out my own style. I don't want to mimic him, and I understand that there's a difference between mimicking someone and being inspired by someone.

While still trying to find your voice, it all amounts to work. That seems like a cop-out answer, perhaps, but there's no shame in cliche, in my opinion. There's Malick and De Palma, to name two filmmakers I cherish who work mainly in archetypes. Most of the arts of mimesis, you just gotta pinpoint what these specific elocutions mean to you!

Why did you latch on to this phrase, or that. Same with character archetypes. You may not have the answer to the why, but as long as you keep meditating on it, you'll flesh out genre for yourself. You'll find your space within the existing environment. That's a slice of my feelingz on screenwriting tropes, anyway.

polkablues

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 03:12:29 PM »
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My main impression from reading your scenes prior to their deletion is that you write dialogue very rhythmically, with a very staccato cadence, more akin to Mamet than PTA, in my opinion. There's a lot of kinetic energy to the scenes. It's fun to read, and I imagine it would be fun for actors to perform.

My one real critique would be to examine the intentionality behind the speech patterns. Your characters tend to speak very elliptically to each other, which I enjoy, but they all seem to speak the same way all the time. They're just kind of dancing around each other with their words. Be clear in your mind as you're writing: why is each character saying what they're saying in that moment, why are they saying it in the specific way that they are, and also why are they NOT saying something different in a different way. Every line of dialogue that a character speaks needs to have an intention behind it beyond the revealing of information inherent in the words themselves. When a character says exactly what they mean, there should be a specific reason why. When they dance around the answer to a question, there should be a specific reason why. When they make an accusation, or tell a lie, or don't say anything at all, there should be a specific reason why, and that reason is always found in the answer to the question you have to know as a writer, which is what is this character's goal in this scene and in this moment. Once you know the answer to that question, everything they say and how they say it serves the purpose of revealing character, which is the single most important element of storytelling.
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Sleepless

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 04:19:28 PM »
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Really thought you were mimicking PTA's style, but I guess that's ...

I meant the fact that you had a thread titled dialogue in screenplays and the content was just "-". If it was a PTA screenplay the dialogue would be "...".
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KJ

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 05:05:19 PM »
+1
I will print your comment Polka and hang it above my computer so I don't get lost in words again, hehe. very helpful comment. I guess my problem is that I don't flesh out the story and try to understand the characters enough before I write. that's the reason why I deleted it in the first place, because I felt like it was too fresh and that hadn't thought about it enough. I feel you on the criticism that they talk the same. I have heard it before, so I really need to work on that.

what you said about energy and that it was fun to read made me very happy, because at least it wasn't stiff and boring then. I will build from that, and ask myself those questions the next time I write. not just dance around stuff and try to be clever for the sake of it.

thanks to both of you! I appreciate it.

Really thought you were mimicking PTA's style, but I guess that's ...

I meant the fact that you had a thread titled dialogue in screenplays and the content was just "-". If it was a PTA screenplay the dialogue would be "...".

haha, right. don't worry. my script is filled with "..."

polkablues

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 06:11:28 PM »
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All the characters sounding the same is the biggest issue most people have with dialogue and it’s one of the hardest things to overcome. I struggle with it constantly. It’s helpful to give your characters a certain amount of unspoken backstory that you can use to inform the way they talk.

Maybe you decide one of your characters is a high school dropout who overcompensates for his lack of education by using lots of big words in conversation, not always correctly. One character could have been raised in a religious household and gets self-conscious about swearing. They key is knowing your characters. The more you know who they are and what they want, the more easily those patterns will reveal themselves to you and the more real and unique they’ll feel on the page.
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KJ

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 07:44:44 PM »
+1
yeah, that's a good suggestion. do you do the same when you write?

in my last script I described the look and clothes of my characters in great detail (that was important to me in that particular script. don't ask why. the script sucked), gave them different "quirks", and really tried to make them different to each other. I loved them, and really enjoyed writing them and "hanging out" with them, but looking back at it they all sounded the same. I will try not to do that mistake again.

I guess I could share the dialogue we are talking about again, but please take it for what it is. I deleted them for a reason because I wasn't happy with them, and I think it's extremely hard to share stuff sometimes - especially screenplays that is something I wanna become good at, because I know that there is a long way left and a lot of work before I gets there.

Quote
A: Look at me.
B: Why?
A: I want see your face again. I want to look at your features.
B: You have seen my features.
A: I want to see what i'm working with.
B: You wanna work...
A: No, no, not like that. I just want to look at you for a moment.
B: Like this?
A: Yeah. Like that.
B. Are you always this demanding?
A: This is demanding?
B: No. Maybe... I don't know.
A. It's just how it works... If we're going to work together that's how it will be... that's the dynamic.
B:...the dynamic.
A: Yeah.
B: All those cliches - they are true then.
A: Cliches?
B: The stories...
A: What stories?
B: Can I ask you a question that you will answer with true sincerity?
A: Sure... it depends on the question.
B: You always fuck your models?
A: You're not my model.
B: Not yet.
A: Stop it. I'm too tired for this.
B: You said you would answer my question.
A: Just let me look at you. Look me in the eyes.
B: Like this. Am i doing it right?
A: Yes.
B: Do you find anything?
A: I'm looking.
B: There's something in my face? You see something in my face?
A: It's what's inside i'm looking for... the outside is fine, but there's something else that's.. magical with you - that craziness - I want to capture that.
B: Then why are you trying to tame me?
A: Look at the ceiling...
B: like this?
A: Yes. Good boy.
Can you show me that craziness? Like you did at the party?
B: I'll do my best.
A: Yeah?
B: Yeah.
A: Show me.
B: Now?
A: Yeah. Show me now.
...
B: Oh, so you can laugh. I didn't know you had it in you.
Does your other models make you laugh too?
A:...stupid boy...
B: You liked that? That was good enough for you?
A: You are a very stupid boy, you know that?
B: I think it could make a good cover, don'tcha think? You'll shoot me like that and they put me on a cover, and the world will see how beautiful I am... how beautiful you can make me. I want the world to see that. Can you do that for me?
A: You are already gorgeous, stupid.

Quote
A: Would you have sex with us?
C: Oh, fuck off.
A: I mean, you are doing it for a living, if I gave you money...
C: Stop being silly.
A: Sometimes it's fun being silly.
B: What are you doing?
A: Asking questions.
B: You are being inappropriate.
C: No, he's not.
B: He's not?
C: Maybe, but that's my call in this situation.
A: See.
C: This is a rhetorical question, right?
A: Right.
C: I don't fuck my friends for money.
A: So i'm your friend now?
C: I'd fuck you, but i'd fuck you for free.
A: For free?
C: Yeah.
A: What's the fun in that?
C: ...
A: You'd fuck B too?
Beat.
C: Maybe.
A: Maybe.
C: If he could afford me.
B: I'm not playing this game with you.
C: It's just for fun.
B: Well, i'm not up for it.
C: Then what if it isn't a game.
B: What is it then? What are you saying?
C: I don't know.
B: This is getting ridiculous.
C: Okay, so you wanna know? You really wanna know?
B: Yes.
C: I'm saying that I would love to fuck you. That i'm in love with you.
B: You are in love with me?
C: This isn't how I imagined telling you this, but yes. You never noticed how I looked at you?
B: Come on.
C: No, you come on. I gave you all the clues.
B:..the clues.
C: Yes.
B: I don't want to be a part of this...
C: What is this?
B: this right here - what you two are doing,.
A: If you hadn't realized that she adores you, then you really are stupid.. then you haven't been paying attention - it's in her face..
B: no...
A: You don't see it? Study a face close enough and they will reveal their secrets..
B: fuck your secrets.
A: Yeah?
B: Shove them up your ass where they belong.
A: With pleasure.
B: Oh, please. For once in a while, can you just shut the fuck up?
A:..that's the spirit, boy. That's what I've been looking for.
B: That's what you have been looking for.
A. yes.
B: And everything else?
A: Whats' that?
B: I did everything you asked from me... everything and more, and you are telling me that it wasn't good enough for you, you pretentious fucking fraud.  .. I tell you this,  you are just an empty shell... a vacuum. Nothing.
A: yes, yes... this is all good. Keep on going.
B: Just shut you're fucking cake hole please - I'm tired of this bullshit, okay?
A:  ...
B. And you, during all this time, you have been in love with me?
C: Since the moment we meet.
B: During Paris?
C: Yes.
B: During the time back home? The shows? Everything?
C: Yes.
B: all those nights, all those nights we were together... during all this time, you are telling me, that you were in love with me?
C: Now you see it.
B: And this - what we're doing now - what is that?
C: You tell me.
B: It's a silly game... that's what it is.
C: It's whatever you want it to be.
B: Then take of your clothes.
C: What?
B: Undress.
C: If that's what you want, i'll do it.
B: What do you want?
C: Whatever you tell me to do.
B: Then take of your clothes.
C: Okay.



KJ

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2018, 07:56:52 PM »
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about getting good at things: it's really inspiring when you read early scripts from directors/writers who became great at their craft later in their careers. compare knuckle-sandwich to sydney for example, or my best friend's birthday to reservoir dogs, and you see that the difference in quality is huge. in a short amount of time somewhere along the way it clicked for them, and they figured out how to tell a good story. I like to think about that when I feel bummed out about my own writing.

KJ

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Re: Dialogue in screenplays
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2018, 08:42:01 PM »
+2
I was just kidding, deleting the first post was just a marketing stunt to draw people in. i'm brilliant that way.

 

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