Monday, November 3, 2008

Script Reading: Pregnant with Learning Opportunities

It started with a chair - a butt-worn, chocolate stained chair – so old it didn’t have a cup holder. I sat in it while watching the movie, Juno, at our small town movie theatre on a cheap Tuesday night - and I was blown away.

I was in awe of Diablo Cody’s slap-happy dialogue, and the actors who so casually delivered line after snarky line. This, I thought, was going to change the way I write. And it did – once I bought the script.

I’d never read a script before. I didn’t even know you could buy them until I searched one day, looking for the Juno DVD, and found the script. I ordered it from my local bookstore and a few weeks later it was mine.

Scripts are a bare bones kind of thing. Stark. Filled with strange formatting. Still, they have much to teach - especially if you need to beef up your dialogue. There’s nothing like reading the back and forth between characters – stripped of all narrative and dialogue tags - to show you, that with good dialogue, you can eliminate pages of needless exposition from your WIP.

It ended with a chair - my “office” chair, with my butt in it, and me – writing noticeably improved dialogue.

Want to read a script from your favourite TV show or film? Can’t find it to purchase? Try this fabu website:


Tami Klockau said...

AWESOME post Tracy. I, too was amazed by Juno. There was an article in Writer's Digest a few issues ago w/ Diablo Cody and was amazed at her story.

Thanks for the script link. I'll have to check it out!

Tracy Belsher said...

Thanks Tami. Ya, I read that article, too. She's an interesting character, eh?