In order to write effective dialogue for scripts one needs to break away from writing in a storytelling fashion. Script writing is much more basic. In writing dialogue for scripts one needs to understand how people truly speak to one another. Much of what we see and hear is actually unspoken. It’s in the body language; the way people react to situations and in their emotions. A good scriptwriter will listen to the words that are actually spoken and use those only so that the director and actors can fill in the rest with their actions and movements.
Some writers want to inject keys into the dialogue to show the actors how it should be said. Common examples of this would be telling the actor that this line is said in an angry manner or another is spoken while crying. This can get offensive to the actors for you are implying that they cannot do their job without being told of every detail. If you include strong, precise words and phrases when writing dialogue for scripts the emotion will come out and the actor will know exactly what needs to be done.
A common mistake writers make, especially those who are used to writing novels, is that they want to explain every little detail while writing dialogue for scripts. They forget that they are writing dialogue to be used in a movie and all the little nuances will be shown to the viewers. Anything more than that will come off as forced and unnatural. Scriptwriters also needs to remember that they’re sharing their creative ideas along with other people. Directors as well as actors need to be able to inject their vision into the making of the movie also. Just make sure that when writing dialogue for scripts you make your vision clear and precise so that the essence of your story comes through.
Writing dialogue for scripts requires the writer to know and understand how people speak. Know the characters that you are writing about and have them speak appropriately. You cannot give the same words to someone that is portrayed as being from the streets as another who is a college graduate. They both speak differently and as a good scriptwriter, you’ll know that difference. Having everyone speak in the same way makes for a very boring and uninteresting story. Give your characters distinctive speech patterns and words, you’ll make them much more believable. In doing this, you’ll give the movie director and actors a good feel for the character you are writing about and they’ll naturally follow much more closely to your original idea for the script without you having to point out all the little details.
Be visual when writing dialogue for scripts. Always tell the story from a visual point of view. As you are writing this dialogue try to run the movie in your head at the same time. A good exercise would be to watch a movie or a television show and write the dialogue from the show. Then turn off the TV and read the dialogue alone. Does it evoke images that you just saw on the show? If so, ask yourself how the writer was able to get his emotion out in just that way. It’s in the words, study them and learn how the writer was able to get the strong points in the story.
Spend time around people, just observing and learning how they interact with one another. Watch more movies, television shows and plays, and see how the professionals go about writing dialogue for scripts. The more time you spend doing this, the better you will get at writing dialogue for scripts.