Screenwriting : How to write good dialogue by Brooke A. Price

Brooke A. Price

How to write good dialogue

I'm currently working on a script for a short film and my script is somewhat similar to Pulp Fiction. I'm trying to pay homage to Tarantino's work and I was wondering how should I go about writing the dialogue for a project like this?

Kerry Douglas Dye

Awfully dangerous to try to imitate Tarantino. He has a very distinctive voice, and many imitators. If I were you I'd focus on GOOD dialogue, not Tarantino-esque dialogue. Not the advice you requested, but there it is.

Owen Mowatt

Agreed. Worse still is to try and use it in a short. If there's one thing Tarantino dosent do, it's rush his scenes.

Beth Fox Heisinger

There can be only one Tarantino. Don't chase someone else, develop your own voice, Brooke. :) Best to you!

Shawn Speake

Whatever you decide to write, think about reading your dialogue aloud. That definitely makes a difference in the quality of your work.

Jim Fisher

I've been told by several produced screenwriters to read your work aloud into a tape recorder then listen. Or, have friends take different parts in your script and do a table read - don't take a part yourself - you're there to take notes and listen.

Brooke A. Price

Thanks for all the advice I definitely appreciate it

Richard Toscan

Usually when screenwriters and directors are doing a homage to a famous film (the typical case) or writer-director (less common), they quote a well known line of dialogue -- only once -- rather than trying to mimic the voice of the original screenwriter throughout the script or they visually quote an equally well known image from the film. That's what a homage is. Mimicking dialogue continuously won't be seen as a homage, but simply as copying.

Stacy Gentile

I agree ... read the dialogue parts out loud .. you will be amazed. The other tidbit I would recommend writing a little character persona. These are the words this character uses, their ticks, their pacing --- have some characters be very quick with their words, others more elongated. Some wild, some reserved. There are words and dialogue for all types but first you have to ID your people and give them a life. Another little trick is to block out all of the character names and read through ... see if you can tell who is who. Harder than you think.

William Martell

Don't copy someone else, do your own thing.

Leona McDermott

whatascript has some great tips, especially dialogue. Hope it helps.

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

The best dialogue is based on good strong conflict. (I don't know Tar.'s work well but I suspect that it's true there, also.) Conflict is not action and/or violence (although it may lead to that.) Conflict is the clash of closely held values, values which are crucial, life or death, to your characters. So in any scene, figure out why your characters are in conflict. Then write the dialogue. Corollary - no conflict in a scene. Throw it away.

Brooke A. Price

thanks for the feed back

Julie Merrick

The Pulp Fiction opening scene dialog is truly brilliant. We know EXACTLY who these guys are from the start without any exposition. Its entertaining and has strong purpose. My advise - really know your characters well before you conquer subtext. I sometimes write out a fake interview, asking questions far outside of my story and then I write down every line of dialog my character says in my story, asking myself if the "voice" is consistent with who that character is. Best.

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