WHAT THE HELL

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Novels aren’t movie scripts: how to write great dialogue in prose

There’s a big difference between movie dialogue and prose. Here are a few practical ideas about how to keep your novel from drifting into movie-oriented techniques that won’t work in prose.

Nail Your Novel

bookshelvesDo you learn your storytelling from movies as much as from prose? Have you cut your writing teeth on the wisdom of the hallowed screenwriting gurus (McKee, Field and Goldman)? Are you a screenwriter who’s making the switch to novels?

If so, you’ll certainly know some great storytelling tricks, but the two disciplines are different. Some movie techniques simply don’t translate to the page.

Indeed, if you’re writing your novel as though it’s a movie in your head, your ideas might not work as powerfully as they should.

I’ve already discussed a few general points in a previous post – scenes with a lot of characters, short, choppy scenes and point of view. There are other crucial differences between screen and page, so over the next few posts I’m going to look at them in detail.

Today: dialogue

Film is a visual medium. If we’re watching a scene in…

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This entry was posted on September 29, 2014 by in Publishing.
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