Have you seen the Seinfeld episode with the yada, yada, yada? It’s a fun one. It’s funny because it’s true, we sometimes tend to skip over parts of conversations when we’re in a hurry, or we know each other so well that we take advantage that our friends will read between the lines.
Dialogue is so much fun. When I’m working on a play I get into the zone as the dialogue just flows onto the page. I love playing around with people having a conversation. I wrote a short story based on a conversation I wanted to have with an ex-boyfriend, it felt so good to purge onto the page. It also felt great when the story was published – a little victory for creativity and I!
It’s true, sometimes we yada-yade over the best parts of the conversations. When writing a play or screenplay it’s important to have good dialogue to cover important facts to keep the story flowing.
We need to know what characters do, and how they figure into a story….We need to know who the characters are – their occupations, what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how and why they do what they do in your story. Sometimes a character’s function in a cop show is understood simply because the character wears or flashes a badge. Nothing need to be said. Sometimes seeing that a character is clearly in authority at a crime scene tells us everything we need to know. ~ Linda Seger, Making a good script great
Linda Seger also shares some examples:
In Pineapple Express, the focus on Dale moves from his clothes color to his job description, giving important information about his job.
Saul: What’s up with suit?
Dale Denton: Oh, I’m a process server, so I have to wear a suit.
Saul: Wow, you’re a servant? Like a butler? A chauffeur?
Dale Denton: No, no. What? No, I’m not like . . .
Saul: Shine shoes?
Dale Denton: I’m a process server! I like…
Saul: Oh, process.
Dale Denton: I work for a company that’s like hired by lawyers to like hand out legal documents and subpoenas to people who don’t want them, so I gotta wear, like, disguises sometimes, just to make them admit that they are themselves so I can server them the … the papers.
I like how the conversation flows and giving us details about Dale in a quick moment.
Once you get a story idea and you realize it needs to be told, yo must write it! Then the characters will start having conversations and you will be sharing their story. Creativity is wanting to be made through us and we just need to sit down and put the words onto the page. What dialogue are your characters having? Are their yada, yada, yada moments? Are they trying to say they love one another? How are we going to share their story the best way we can? I know I will just sit and write whatever the characters are chattering away and I will stop and question what is being said, but then comes along one more piece of the puzzle and I have those A’ha moments and continue to write. How do you deal with your characters dialogue? Do you listen and write? What’s your best practices?
Until next time, keep on typing . . . .