Tips on Writing Dialogue That’s Truthful
(to Riggan. A derisive laugh)
You’re no actor. You’re a celebrity. Let’s be clear on that.
Tabitha rises from her seat and grabs her things.
I’m going to kill your play.
In Birdman, (directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, screenplay by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armando Bo) theatre critic Tabitha is despicable. She knows it. Protagonist Riggin knows it. And what makes matters worse is that in these four lines, Riggan knows in his very soul that Tabitha is telling the truth. The truth hurts. Riggin is struggling with his celebrity and all that comes with this label. He wants to be respected as an actor, not for his celebrity. The words flowing from your characters’ mouths should be true to who they are. Whether your characters are telling the truth or lying, or believe they are being accurate or not, when you, the screenwriter, have a deep understanding of your characters’ motivations and behaviors, the more believable your dialogue will be. Good dialogue clearly conveys emotions, attitudes, strengths, vulnerabilities, and so on, while revealing the details of your plot and advancing your narrative.
Ten Top Tips to Writing Truthful Dialogue
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Many screenwriters share something in common. Is it the agony and ecstasy of writing? Well, for some yes, but for most –it’s about finding an agent, and when you do, finding the right one for you.
Indeed — finding an agent can be considered a full-time job. Not only have you written a brilliant screenplay but now you must write and submit queries, network and then network some more, and research agencies and agents that are the right match for you and your work. Added to that is the endless time involved and sleepless nights, waiting for a response. This journey can be challenging, often frustrating, nearly impossible, clearly nerve-wracking and nauseatingly gut-wrenching.
But then – alas. You get the call. The email. The response. An agent is interested in representing you! Hallelujah. Congratulations! Break out the champagne. Do the happy dance. But don’t lose your common sense!
Yes, it’s wonderful that an agent has expressed interest in representing you, but do not jump into a relationship without making sure the agent is a good fit for you and your work.
Tips on Choosing an Agent
CHOOSING AN AGENT
Love is Strange
Obstacles and Relationships, and Not So Strange Love
In film, as in real life, misunderstandings and embarrassing and awkward moments are just some of the many situations couples can find themselves in when it comes to love relationships. Couples can be soulmates or polar opposites, come from the same or different backgrounds and/or social classes, have too different or too similar temperaments, and/or find themselves brought together by an odd set of circumstances without which they would not have normally even spoken.
The obstacles a couple must face can bring them together or force them apart.
In the award-winning film directed by Ira Sachs Love is Strange, co-written by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, the obstacles longtime couple Ben and George enounter drive the narrative forward, posing the question:
How will Ben and George overcome their many hurdles in order to live together once again?
To read more:
LOVE IS STRANGE
Great to see old friends and colleagues at the NYFCC Awards.
A few photos from last night…
Photo credits: Tatiana Kouguell-Hoell
2014 Awards (From: http://www.nyfcc.com/awards/)