Screenwriting 3: “Dialogue” by J. West

Monday, November 25th, 2013|Guest posts, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity

AfliePickle

 

FADE IN:

INT. LOUNGE – DAY

JAC (40s) wannabee screenwriter -- talks to herself. Nothing
new there then. Although there's no sound...
ALFIE (5) moggie cat, the local, writing consultant peers at
her suspiciously.
                    ALFIE
          Is it meds time?

Jac, as usual, ignores him.
                    JAC
          Dialogue...dialogue.
                    ALFIE
          Ooo I've got it! Don't tell me,
          this blog post is about dialogue.

Jac physically holds the sarcasm back --

                    JAC
          Why, Alfie. You're such a clever 
          kitty. Who knew?

Alfie throws Jac a sneaky look.

                    ALFIE
          I knew.
                    JAC
          Go on then, smarty, fluff-pants,
          how do you write decent dialogue?

Alfie closes his eyes, he takes his time to contemplate. He
snores.
Jac nudges him.

                    ALFIE
          Don0t be mean. I'm thinking.
                    JAC
          Yes. Exactly that -- be mean.

Alfie blinks his eyes open, confused.

                    ALFIE
          Eh. Mow?
                    JAC
          Remember to read through, and
          always edit. I find reading pages
          in the wrong order helps. And be:
          economical, natural, expressional.
                    ALFIE
               (mumbles)    
          Made up word.
                    JAC
          You get me.
                    ALFIE
          Yes, sadly, i do. Are we talking
          like young people now? Like.
                    JAC
          No. Wait. Are we? No, don't
          over-write accents. Leave that to
          the actors and director to sort
          out. You can hint at one now and
          again, to keep the character real,
          but, don't overdo it.

Alfie nods.

                    ALFIE
          I bet there's a whole list of what
          not to dos.
                    JAC
          A few. Avoid: stiff, forced, fake,
          dialogue. And try not to express
          every emotion or fact too.
                    ALFIE
          So avoid how people really talk, in
          real life, for really real?
                    JAC
          Yep, pretty much. Plus on top of
          that, try and give each character
          their own voice, to reflect their
          individual personality. So
          naturally, if that character is
          meant to be funny, their speech
          should reflect that. The challenge
          comes when you have to balance
          dialogue and the action lines to
          show a complex character. And
          unless vital to the plot, don't 
          allow one person to dominate too
          much, letting them go on, and on,
          and --
                    ALFIE
          Soliloquy alert!

Jac jumps.
                    JAC
          Ahem. Yes. That.
                    ALFIE
          Ooo eck. Does this writing malarky,
          ever get easy?
                    JAC
          Nope.
                    ALFIE
          Dammit.

Alfie stretches on the back of the sofa and sighs.

                    ALFIE
          Not sure this writing life is for
          me, ya know. I might just stick to
          professional sleeper.
                    JAC
          A tip for your writing thoughts --
          read your dialogue, out loud. It
          really helps to pick up something
          that doesn't sound right, or hear a 
          word that's out of place.
                    ALFIE
          Ah, of course, makes sense.

Jac sits up, smug.

                    JAC
           Why, does it explain all those
           weird conversations I have with you?
                    ALFIE
           No.
                    JAC
           Oh. Thanks a lot.
                    ALFIE
           Welcome.

Alfie shouts his eyes with a purr.
Jac deflated and stares forlornly at her laptop.

                                                                                       FADE OUT.

Author: J. West 

NOTE: Unfortunately blogging platforms don’t allow to maintain the typical screenwriting format, 
and it’s why the page formatting is out of sync. Please, open the following links to see the script as it should be:
Page1 - Page2 - Page3 - Page4 - Page5