When it comes to learning how to write dialogues, you must be thinking that it will be the easiest part of writing the script because it is just a conversation between two or more people. And, conversing is what we do on a daily basis, so it should be the easiest stuff to write but believe me it is not. In fact, it is one of the most difficult things to write in a screenplay because when the characters say what you wrote, they should not be just saying something but rather revealing something related to your story or characters. Movie dialogues are the most efficient way of conversation because if written in a correct dialogue format, they can easily explain a scene or a character in just 10 seconds. For example, if you want to introduce a character in your short film, rather than adding a scene which would take a few minutes, you can easily do so by playing a voice over of the character's introduction in the background and showing few pictures of his or her past.
There are 4 dialogue rules that you'll have to follow for writing dialogues for a short film:
1. Dialogues should take forward or move the plot along with the storyline which means that when your characters will say the dialogue you wrote, it should help to advance the story.
2. They should build or reveal a character according to its voice, or what they say.
3. They should help to make an emotional effect on the audience and get a reaction out of them whether it is funny or sad.
Point's To Remember While Writing Dialogues.
>> Even before you start writing dialogues, make sure that you know your characters very well, if not, then research about them. The dialogues that you wrote should be appropriate to your character's characteristics and setting of the scene you are going to shoot. These measures will help to make your dialogues sound more natural and fluent. For instance, to write dialogues for a Mafia from the 80's, you research about it as much as you can so that you do not end up writing dialogues that sounds made up.
>> The dialogues you write should serve a clear purpose whether it is to build a character or move the story forward, which simply means that you characters should be discussing things that are important to the story. Do not make the mistake of writing dialogues that are meaningless and are not related to your story because nobody cares about them and they can also distract or even bore your audience. Try to keep your dialogue scenes as short as possible, so that your audience can easily understand them and stick to your short film.
>> Always avoid unnatural dumping of information through dialogues in your scene. Do not write a dialogue in which a character reveals the entire plot of a short film to another character because it does not sound real. For example, in a B-grade horror movie, a car stops in front of a haunted house and then one man explains everything about it to the other man in one dialogue even before entering the house. This does not sound real at all, so try to convey 2 + 2 = ? through your dialogues not 2 + 2 = 4. Give your audience necessary information and let them figure out the result on their own.
>> A great way to spice up your dialogue is to make your characters sound different from each other, whether it’s their speech pattern, word choice, sentence structure, rhythm, regional accent, etc., Let's say, if a character uses certain slangs or curses, then write them. Your dialogues will sound more interesting and natural if your characters sounds a little or very different from one another, always keep this trick in mind as it really helps.
>> It is always interesting to make one character interrupt another character in dialogues but do not overdo this because if overdone this can lead to confusions in the dialogues. You can also add pauses between words by writing "..." in front of a word, these three dots will represent that there is a pause after that dialogue. For example, if your antagonist is asking some questions to your hero, there can be some pauses, so these pauses can easily be represented by "...". Use them appropriately and try to keep the other dialogues fluid.
>> After completing your dialogues, read through them and find out the words that are being repeated and then replace those words with their synonyms, if you can. You might have to repeat this process multiple times if there are many repetitive words in the same paragraph or even on the same page. One more thing you can do to double check is to read your dialogues out loud to find out how they sound in real life and find their rhythm. Make an outline or a flow chart of dialogues. If you have many scenes that include them, this practice will really help you to keep track of your dialogue scenes easily.
Well that's all we got for you, keep the above mentioned points in mind and you should be good to write some impressive dialogues for your next or even first short film. Good Luck!
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