If you have been writing for any amount of time, and doing any amount of research the chances are high that you’ve come across the term, ‘voice’ or ‘voices’. There are lots of things about having a unique voice in the industry – the abstract ‘voice’ – and making sure your voice doesn’t get in the way of the story – the more concrete ‘voice’.
It’s weird. Hell, I’ve written the word, ‘voice,’ multiple times already and I’m already at that point where it stops looking like a real word at all. It’s only my second paragraph.
The truth of the matter is that your writing will reflect you as a person; sometimes your voice will be so unique it becomes a character unto itself, and a signature that follows you in your writing career.
So let’s break it down, and then look at some super unique voices that you probably know and love from movies and television.
Let’s talk about the differences between writing children in screenplays and novels, versus writing adults!
This post is part of the Dialogue Doctor Series, where I talk about writing effective dialogue!
I wish I could say writing child characters was the same as writing adults but I’d be wrong. Further still, I wish I could say that writing children was an easy task. That’s even more wrong. We’ve all seen movies with children in them, which means we’ve all seen movies where the child’s lines are either exceptionally on-point or awkward and stilted.
(Note, this has nothing to do with the performance of child actors, but rather the lines they’re given within the script. Sure, sometimes children aren’t very good at acting, but that doesn’t mean they deserve bad dialogue.)
Oftentimes you can tell if someone has interacted with kids or not based on the dialogue they give their child characters. Frankly, being around children makes writing children’s dialogue easier, but sometimes we just can’t hang out with kids for no reason other than to hear them talk; that’d be weird.
Read on for a few key tips to focus on when it comes to writing children’s dialogue.
Let’s learn all about writing accents in this latest installment of the Dialogue Doctor. The Dialogue Doctor is back after a long hiatus, mainly due to quarantine depression (because seriously, this situation is depressing…). Got a question about writing dialogue? I’m here to help! It’s the one thing I know how to do!
So you have a great story idea, something really whacky and fun! Congrats. And the best part? there’s a zany character who speaks differently than ‘normal people!’ You’re excited to write out each word they mispronounce in detail in your screenplay! Sounds like it’s going to be a great source of both comedy and plot!
Something I am guilty of doing in my screenplays and have to actively fix in later drafts of work is over-directing the actors. Adding too many ‘umm’s and notes. Not the worst no-no in screenwriting etiquette, but not a great look for anyone. It’s a habit that makes sense; you know how the scene is supposed to play out in your head, and writing it with every pause and tone clearly marked is comfortable and safe. Arguably it’s great for a first draft! There is no misinterpreting your words and meaning. Except that’s the problem, isn’t it?
(Betsy the Gremlin is a self-appointed Dialogue Doctor. Everyone says she’s good at writing dialogue and by gum she wants you to be good at it too!This post may contain affiliate links; I earn a small commission that helps support this blog when you purchase through these links at no cost to you.)