The 7 Deadly Dialogue Sins - Script Magazine
After decades in the biz, David Trottier shares the top dialogue errors he has seen over and over again in screenplays.

1. Obvious exposition.

2. Exaggeration.

3. Derivative dialogue.

Avoid clichés and lines we’ve heard in other movies.

4. Everyday pleasantries.

Avoid chit-chat, unless it is original and interesting.

5. Unnecessary repetition.

It creates a sense of stasis, and the story feels like it’s dragging.

6. No room for subtext.

7. Unoriginal speeches.

When a character’s speeches could be delivered by any character in the screenplay, you have a problem.

Read more on scriptmag

anonymous asked:

For once in my life Louis, (no, I'm not asking you, Lestat.) I need advice on my love life. I have four men (3?) Pursuing me. And the one I like sends me into a sea of counfusion. His part of him acts intrigued and the other despises me.

♠ “I haven’t had the vast experience that Lestat has had,” Louis says as he types. A distant “Hey!” is heard in the background, somewhat muffled by the TV. “I heard that!”

Louis turns back to the screen and continues: “I have, however, had more long-term relationship experience than he has. I can tell you that you do not want to be with anyone who openly despises you, or plays at doing so as if it was a game.” He looks up, considering, before resuming: “There have been times when I thought Lestat truly despised me, but if that were so, he would have left me long ago. His anger was due to his frustration with the invisible wall between us, the forced secrecy, and the relative slowness of my adaptation to my nature, whereas he had been all alone and taken to it so easily. Long after that, there were other times that I needn’t mention.”

“We began poorly. We know. What has kept us together is the kernel we each saw in the other of a similar tenacity for life. Despite anything I said or did, he knew I had a will that refused to surrender to Death, even to him. We were also powerfully intrigued by each other.” 

“You needn’t choose one of these suitors immediately. Do not place the entirety of the responsibility of your happiness in someone else’s hands. Your lover should support you in your own pursuits, should be altogether intrigued by you, and you should be supportive and intrigued by him.” Lestat approaches, and slumps beside Louis on the couch, reading over the response. 

“Don’t tell the person ‘should,’ don’t make it into dull requirements.” Lestat huffs, snaking an arm around his shoulders and drawing him close.

“Those are important elements, no?”

“It will happen naturally, if they are with someone who loves them.” Lestat says, drawing Louis in tighter.

“That’s so.”

“See, I have excellent advice. They should have asked me! Such ‘vast experience.’ A model lover.” Lestat plants a chaste kiss on his temple.

“When you follow your own advice, yes, you are.” Louis smirks.

“Am I not supporting you right now?” Lestat has managed to bring Louis entirely into his lap, gesturing at their position.

“You are indeed. Are you also intrigued by me?” 

“I’m - squished.” 

“I’ll have to find some way to intrigue you.”

“Putting away that laptop would be a step in the right direction, mon cher.

*Louis hits Publish, and shuts the laptop*

Egy rajz a falon

Szandra: Egy férfi, magányos, egyedül van, nincs állása és már senki sem szereti. Megpróbált véget vetni életének, ezért felkötötte magát erre a fára, de leszakadt az ág és így életben maradt.

Marci: Lusta voltam megrajzolni a fa másik ágát is, az embert pedig azért tettem mellé, hogy érzékeltesse a fa méretét.

Szandra: Jó, akkor most nézzük a kép másik felét. Ez egy ember, aki a háza előtt ül egy padon. Valami tragédia is történhetett, elvégre ott a kereszt, de ki halt meg? Biztos a felesége, hiszen egyedül ül ott.

Koszta: Öregemberről van szó és a kutyája halt meg. Ezért futtatta körbe a házát kőberakással, mert a kutya mindig be akart nézni az ablakon és a karmaival lekarmolta a vakolatot. És az nem pad, hanem egy hintaszék.

Masterpost of Writing Advice

For a full and updated list of writing advice, click here.
All advice is by Marina Montenegro and originally posted on Writing the Words blog. (This list is updated to include August’s Romance section)

Getting Started

Prewriting 101
Setting Up Your Space
Starting Again (if you’ve stopped)
Where to Start
Writing the Beginning
Writing What You Don’t Know
5 Truths About Being A Writer


Character Building
Non-Binary Characters
Writing A Hero
Writing Non-Humans
Writing Women
5 Ways to Name Your Character
5 More Ways to Name Your Character


Improving Dialogue: Eliminate Exposition


Tips & Tricks for NaNoWriMo

Planning & Outlines

How to Start Outlining
Is My Idea Good Enough?
Should you Outline?
7 Things to Do Before You Start


Fight Scenes
Sex Scenes
Sexual Assault in Literature
Story Arcs


When and Where to Publish
Rejection Letters

Romance:  *new!*

LGB Relationships
Romantic Subplots
Writing a Romance Novel


When Setting Really Matters

World Building:

Creating World Maps
World Building


Making Time to Write
Point Of View

Why I Write
Writers Block
Writing with Sound
5 Signs You Treat Your Reader Like an Idiot
Instead of “Said” (Dialogue Tags List)


  • Added
  • Affirmed
  • Commented
  • Conceded
  • Continued
  • Mused
  • Remarked
  • Said
  • Spoke
  • Stated
  • Suggested
  • Told

As a Question

  • Asked
  • Begged
  • Inquired
  • Probed
  • Queried
  • Questioned
  • Quizzed
  • Tested

As an Answer

  • Answered
  • Began
  • Countered
  • Clarified
  • Described
  • Elaborated
  • Explained
  • Informed
  • Replied
  • Responded
  • Retorted


  • beamed
  • cheered
  • chimed
  • giggled
  • laughed
  • praised
  • rejoiced
  • thanked


  • Argued
  • Bellowed
  • Berated
  • Chided
  • Countered
  • Demanded
  • Fumed
  • Goaded
  • Growled
  • Hissed
  • Ranted
  • Reprimanded
  • Roared
  • Scolded
  • Shouted
  • Snapped
  • Sneered
  • Thundered


  • Bantered
  • Bragged
  • Hinted
  • Jested
  • Mimicked
  • Mocked
  • Quipped
  • Smirked


  • Challenged
  • Commanded
  • Decided
  • Demanded
  • Detailed
  • Determined
  • Insisted
  • Ordered


  • Cautioned
  • Groaned
  • Gulped
  • Stammered
  • Stuttered
  • Trembled
  • Whined

Of course this is not a complete list, so feel free to add on!

((NOTE: Because I’ve seen a couple people comment on this, I thought I’d add that of course you don’t want to change every single “said” to one of these. This is just for inspiration and to help people find a word they might want to use instead! Happy writing!))
25 Questions We Ask When Looking for a Great Script
Your script should be able to answer YES to most of these 25 questions. Characters 1) Is the hero likable? 2) Is the hero actively pursuing a clear goal? 3) Is the hero relatable to the...

Your script should be able to answer YES to most of these 25 questions.

1) Are we rooting for the hero?
2) Is the hero actively pursuing a clear goal?
3) Is the hero relatable to the general public?
4) Does the hero have  a character arc?
5) Is there a strong antagonist?
​6) Are the supporting characters interesting?

7) Do the supporting characters have a distinct voice that stands out from the hero?
8) Is the dialogue clever and not “on the nose?”
9) Is the dialogue snappy and relatively easy for an actor to memorize?

10) Is the concept original?
11) Does it have a hook? 

12) Does the movie have a theme?
13) Are there other films with similar themes that can be used for comparison?
14) Is the script a great example of its genre?  (If it’s a comedy, is it funny? If it’s a horror, is it scary?)

Formatting and Grammar
15) Is the script accurately formatted?
16) Is it free from misspelled words and typos?

17) Is this story marketable?
18) Does the screenplay have a clear audience?
19) Is the audience large enough for the movie to make a profit?

20) Do the first 10 pages hook you in?
21) Does the second act sustain your interest?
22) Is the third act satisfying?
23) Is there strong conflict from start to finish?
24) Is the exposition handled nicely?
25) Is the story compelling and does it have a strong narrative drive?

anonymous asked:

How do I wrote dialog I feel like my story isn't complete without it yet I find it so hard to do when it's a long talk. Also some other words for said?

SAID IS A PERFECTLY FINE WORD TO USE. So many people say that “said is dead” and that you should use other words when you mean said but this is not true. I’ve read from many agents, authors and other people who actually know their stuff that getting too creative with dialogue tags can be a sign of an amateur. Dialogue tags (like said, answered, yelled…) mostly serve the purpose of letting the reader know who said what and keep things organized. We usually skim over the word said because all we care about is the who part, and this is exactly what it’s there for. When you use too many “special” dialogue tags it gets distracting. Some of them can be useful like whispered, yelled, asked and answered because they do help us to know how the dialogue is actually being said. But using words like “boomed” and “opined” don’t aren’t really necessary. I’m not saying you can never use other words but just use them sparingly and when you think they are really necessary. After all, most people in everyday conversation just “say” things.

As for writing awesome dialogue I have a few quick tips

  • see this other post about some tips for long dialogue pieces
  • Say it out loud. Seriously, out loud with your actual voice so you can hear it being said. Does it sound natural to you? Would you say this to someone else in real life?
  • Use contractions. I know it gets beaten out of you when writing essays but nobody says “I cannot wait to see you.” Unless the character is particular in this way, use contractions to make it sound more authentic.
  • People also don’t speak perfectly. Sometimes they stutter or say “I dunno” and “’cause” and don’t use perfect grammar. Remember that dialogue isn’t as formal and precise and narration so you can have a little fun with it.
  • This sounds creepy but listen to other people speak. You can hear more about this in the video Three Anti-Social Skills to Improve Your Writing