May 5, 2014

Character Development - 5: Dialogs

Dear M,

I have always thought that watching movies is a great way to learn about writing scenes, because movies is mostly about 'showing, not telling' (except when there is a lot of voice-over).

Recently I watched one, where the protagonist's attitude and behaviour were presented to us through dialogs by others. In a few sentences we were told that she was obsessive when it comes to a certain matter, and that the speaker and she had had an affair. There was no need for a detailed flashback or digging into the specifics of the relationship. Again, a second scene in which the protagonist herself speaks to someone gave away some other factors of her character, without our even noticing what the scriptwriters were doing. (Okay, a writer would notice, but the dialogs seemed effortless and regular, just the kind of things we would say, and not as though they were talking just to convey something to the viewers.)

It is not easy. They must have spent many, many hours and days to introduce that conversation (which was essential in itself, and not brought in just to give away the protagonist's character) and compact it into the most necessary bits. (A novel writer is bound by no such strict rules the way the movie's scriptwriter is, but it would make a very good read if only the necessary words are used.)


Like this post on Facebook!

No comments :

Post a Comment