Scriptnotes 286 episode posted on Jan. 31 discuss writing dialog with some interesting insight on things we as audiences & writers ourselves may over look.

An interesting comparison that John and Craig discussed was the difference between our expectations and the criteria dialogue has when watching a movie versus watching a show on television. They go in detail about how in movie, since there is less time it is more crucial for each word & scene be careful place to advance the narrative whereas with television (although becoming less the case with better scripted shows) the dialogue is less important & as viewers we tend to multitask or half watch so we can keep up with what is going on without soaking in each and every word, & the TV writers are aware of this.

They also go into the difference between a characters dialogue being declarative and emotional and the proper and improper ways for a character to speak in those tones. When a character is being declarative, they are trying to deliver a line or lines that are either meaningful or insightful or revealing a dramatic revelation. This will make a characters speak very proper because what they are saying is more important than what emotion they are getting across. When a character is emotional however, their words aren’t exactly delivered so clear because they are revealing their emotional state and their speech is not coming off well controlled and can at times be irrational and uneven.

This was insightful and introspective when thinking of applying this to my own writing for future projects. It makes sense and feels like common sense in how people talk but it makes it that much more important for writers to really pay attention to not only what is being said but how its being said.


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