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Writing Dialogue with Project Volare

by Celtx

The first season of Project Volare continues, along with more informative behind-the-scenes material and expert perspectives on the multitude of different roles that go into getting a story from the page to the screen. It’s also all free (and participating puts you in the running for fabulous prizes like free Celtx subscriptions, of which we’ve already awarded two!).

Project Volare is being written in Celtx, and for this week’s episode the insider’s perspective is coming from their head writer, Jonathan Kafoure. Let’s talk dialogue (pun intended).

Everyone has their role in the creative process, and you to need to own yours and know your craft… what I tried to do as the writer is this: know my craft, supply character, supply plot, and let everyone else play their part. – Jonathan

Dialogue has been the driving engine in motion pictures since the fateful invention of microphones and synchronized sound. It essentially defines character, prescribes and motivates the plot, and allows you (as both a storyteller and a filmmaker) to communicate the vital things that simply cannot be expressed visually.

Here are some of Jonathan’s key takeaways:

  • Good dialogue provides replay value: if you make your characters entertaining to listen to, people will come back and watch it again. If you manage to subtly pepper your dialogue with clues and dramatic breadcrumbs that pay off in the end, it makes the re-watching experience even more rewarding.
  • Earn your lines: over-explication, over-exposition, and obviousness are a surefire recipe for bad dialogue. As Jonathan puts it, “language shouldn’t be thin like gossamer, but it should be bold and thick like the rigging of a ship and visible at a distance.” If someone is going to say something, it should have impact. Talk isn’t cheap when you have a limited running time.
  • Love what you’re doing: a screenwriter is creating dialogue to deliver the thoughts of characters through the medium of an actor. It’s the foundation of drama, and for it to be effective you have to love language. This means being presciently aware of intentionality, nuance, and intonation.

Celtx makes writing intricately structured and properly formatted screenplay dialogue simple and seamless, with one-touch support for dual dialogue structures, parentheticals, and more.  As the minds behind Project Volare can attest, we “just make it easy.” Sign up for a free trial today and give it a shot!

Be sure to follow Project Volare as they wrap up their first season for more valuable insight into the filmmaking process, both in front of and behind the lens.

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