Realistic Dialogue

Playwrights write language as it's spoken, not as it's written. Forget English 101. The syntax of spoken language is only vaguely related to what gets drummed into you in high school and college. Spoken language is governed by the structure of thoughts, not conventional sentence structure. To be good at this playwriting business, you need to retrain your ears to hear how people really speak. Start eavesdropping on other people's conversations.

Here's what to listen for:
  • How people actually express thoughts in spoken language.
  • The way words are used.
  • Which ones are dropped from spoken language.
  • Which are combined as contractions.
  • How punctuation is thrown around in speech.
  • The odd rhythms of spoken language.

Remember this: LISTEN MORE talk less