How to write dialogue for a screenplay

Comment écrire des dialogues pour un scénario

How to write a dialogue for a scenario


Here we go. You attack the continuity of dialogue, which, as its name indicates, includes : dialogues. Then how to write dialogues that hit the mark ?!

A dialog what is it ?

First of all tell you that this is not because you write 90 pages of dialogue that your film is successful. We (us writers) are doing a lot of importance and for good reason ! The dialogues, this is what is see the most. Unfortunately 90 pages of good dialogues with a bad structure, this is still a bad movie.

A bad job on the characters also gives of bad dialogue.

While this is clear, the use of the dialog should only be done as a last resort ! If the information can not pass through the action, the look, the gestures , or the suggestion, then it is necessary to use the dialogue. It is true that it is not easy. Me the first (though if I swear to you) I have, at the beginning, used the dialogues to be wrong because I do not mastered not what I explained to you in this article. Write dialogue that is haute couture ! ;o)

Lately I have corrected the scenario of a young writer.

The author begins by establishing his characters. He describes in order to understand who they are. It focuses on one of the characters : the chief, in writing, that he is strong, he has a character of a dog. In short, it should not be too him out of trouble.

Therefore, it can be expected that his first words are harsh, directives etc….

While her first line of dialogue is :

 The chief

What time is it ?

Boy 1


The chief

Phew, if it had been 11 a.m. we would have been late

This is typically what it should not do. But I believe that you have understood…this dialogue serves no purpose and does not correspond at all to the character described.

What you must remember is :


That is to say, produce, or expose the barriers, make it funny, scary or understandable a time that will occur later in the story, structuring a flashback.


  • This is what we call : the preparation and payment.
  • Let’s take a simple example :
  • In Superman, a character says that the man of steel is invulnerable unless he is exposed to Kryptonite : this is the preparation.
  • When we see, at one point in the film, Superman collapse in the face of a tiny pebble, we find it credible because we know immediately that it is the kryptonite : this is the payment ! Preparation/ Payment.

But back to the dialogue. If I had to give you three rules to never forget, it would be these :

– Clear dialogue

– A dialogue credible

– Avoid the dialog explanatory

A clear dialogue means that it must not get lost in details. You need to know what you want to say to your character. If he talks about it, it is thatit has an information to pass (contradiction, information, obstacle, help).

Go to the essential, do not write no more dialogues without end…

A credible dialogue what is it ? Are you saying that a line of dialogue is not a line of novel. No need to make turns of phrases incredible. Do talk about your characters as mr. or mrs. all the world. Except of course if your character is an Alien, an aristo, or I don’t know what justifies the language supported or different.

The dialog of explanation.

I’ve already talked about in the article : continuity conversed .

It is to say what the viewer is supposed to understand, while the image speaks for itself.

Example :

Leah is lying in her sofa. Leah coughs. It goes back on it a big cover up to the chin. A thermometer protrudes from his mouth. Sophie between.


Are you sick ? it’s not going to ?

The viewer has understood very well that Leah is sick. The dialogue of Sophie is not thus used for nothing !

But it is also necessary to avoid the dialog to be explanatory, that I will call resolution. In fact, some young writers are confronted to a problem of drama that they do not know how to solve. They say that they will deal later with one or two lines of dialogue. Are you saying that if you need to explain everything through dialogue, is that something is wrong in your history, style, structure etc….or that your preparations are not good.

Conversely, be wary of the unspoken ! You know, this famous mystery that some writers want to inject during the playback of the scenario. Then at the end, no answer is given (or very little). Beware, because the unsaid can sometimes be unclear to the viewer or simply be a gap in the timeline. What you don’t explain through dialogue but through action, gesture, etc…can sometimes fall by the wayside and lose the viewer, as misinterpreted. What do you think implied can be made to be obscure to the viewer.

To write your dialogues, use images that you write !

If you describe an F1 driver, in his suit, preparing to ride in his car, you are not going to tell the head mechanic :

Chief mechanic

You have put your combination ! Are you ready ?! Go to the bottom…

But rather :

The driver approaches his car. Before moving, he exchanges a last look with the head mechanic. And then the driver lowered his visor and moved behind the wheel.

The owner of the brand ” approach of the chief mechanic.


Then ?

Chief Mechanic

It goes all the fluff !

You can avoid the dialog between the pilot and the chief mechanic. But thanks to a gaze you press the dialogue between the chief mechanic and the owner. You could even go completely of dialogues if the scene was included in a scenario.

While I think of it, in relation to the dialogue in a foreign language, do not put the dialog in a foreign language and then below the translation !

Put the dialogue in French.

Do as follows :

Man (In English)

I haven’t seen him all day. Yet I sat there from morning until night…….etc…

Finally, you say that it is full of dialogues different : repetition, questions and answers, the valves, the right words, dialogues, images etc….Always see the usefulness of the dialogue before writing it. Once again I want to remind you thatwriting dialogue is sometimes a thing long…finding the right words is not an easy thing. This takes work, of observation and of the ear, that is to say, you must learn to listen to how people speak around you ;o)

I will come back soon with an article on the characterization of the character through dialogue. In the meantime good luck and don’t hesitate to ask me your questions.

You can also read other articles by going to the site map.

Good Luck,

Tom Weil



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