One of the hardest parts of a story for some writers is dialogue. How much to use, when to use it and most importantly; what to say. Normally dialogue is infused as the story unfolds around a series of sequences and descriptions. But I found a way that can make it easy.
Many people have often commented that my work reads and sounds like a movie. You want to know a secret? They read that way because much of my work started out in script form. That’s right, at one time I aspired to be a screenwriter and wrote a lot of scripts in college.
In fact, A Gamble of Faith and The Hooky Party, started out as scripts before I turned them into books. I spent hours writing dialogue for characters and immersed myself in their conversations. I didn’t really have to worry too much about being very descriptive like I do in a book, so I would gloss over the rest of the script. Creating brief details with the scene descriptions and shot designs, dialogue got most of the attention.
When I decided to write the books, I simply used the scripts as the skeletons and filled in everything around the dialogue. So for example, in the Hooky Party screenplay, I briefly describe the locker area as being “a corner section of the hall with blue and brown lockers”. After that I get into the dialogue. For the book, I expanded on the locker area by being more descriptive about the lockers themselves, who hangs out there, their importance to the characters that are in the area and why they are the color they are. That description is not important in a screenplay and if in fact some of that is relevant, a character can be given a couple of lines to mention it. In the book, that detail allows the reader to visualize the place as they read. All I had to do with the dialogue after that is make small revision to it or, in most cases, never touched it.
Writing your stories out in script form before the novel is a great way to concentrate on your characters voices. It also enables you to build better scenery around it. Little nuances like the description of leaves blowing in the wind, textures of faces or items, and even action or romance sequences can get the just attention they need instead of you worrying about getting everything down at one time.
So on your next project, try writing your work out as a script first and get involved with your characters dialogue. You just might find that everything else will fall into place.
- Marc L Abbott
- I am a self published author from Brooklyn, New York. I have been publishing my work since 2004 and currently have four titles on the market in print and ebook format. I write horror and fantasy fiction as well as books for young adult. I am also a playwright with stage productions in and around New York City. Visit my website at www.hobbcatpublishing.com