REAL VS. REALISTIC DIALOG - Complications Ensue
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Saw a guy chasing a crying girl down the street, and of course I paused to see if he was menacing her, but he wasn't chasing her very fast, he was just keeping up with her, and he let her get into her car and lock it before he started pleading with her.

I didn't eavesdrop too closely, though I had the excuse of walking the dog. But I was amused to hear him actually come out with "I lied to you because I didn't want to hurt you," followed after some mumbling with "I was telling the truth just now."

Ohhhhh, boy, do you need to take Remedial Dialog, I thought. Who'd believe a character who said anything as lame as that?

But I didn't tell him that.

Need I say it? Sometimes they want stylized dialog. Sometimes they want realistic dialog. But no one wants real dialog. And the fact that something actually happened is no excuse for putting it in a story.

3 Comments:

Every good adage is worth repeating now and again, if only because someone who hasn't heard it before might learn something.

(I wonder sometimes if people can actually hear themselves talking. It really does seem like a lot of them can't...)

By Blogger Alec Austin, at 2:42 AM  

This reminds me about the difficulty the producers of Canada's Train 48 had trying to win over an audience when the dialogue was mostly unscripted and improvised by the actors on the spot, which naturally included all the pauses, stammers and trip-ups one would expect to find in a real coversation bewtween two to six people. Some of the viewers were turned off by it but I actually enjoyed it. It made me feel more connected to the characters because they behaved just like me. Subsequently, I became friends with some of the actors and would occassionally address them by their character's name when we engaged in conversation.

By Blogger Kelly J. Compeau, at 12:42 PM  

I can't believe he actually muttered those words...

At least he could've used "voiceover," since he was telling instead of showing anyway!

By Blogger ScriptWeaver, at 11:34 PM  

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