Today I got to do three things I love: Horseback riding, spending time with friends and watching a great movie. The movie was the Hunger Games. I am a huge fan of the books and the movie met my expectations and more. Usually if I like a book, I find the movie falls flat. Not so with Hunger Games. I laughed, I cried (three times) and re-affirmed my belief that unrequited love is the most romantic kind. Sigh.
As if that was not already enough fun for one day, I capped it all off with the first of six script-writing classes with Vancouver Film School (VFS). Last summer I was introduced to VFS through a summer intensive program on film production. It was a one week whirlwind intended to introduce potential students to VFS programs. The teachers were great and I learned a lot about film.
But even better than the fun educational bits was how much I learned about my writing. While I was at VFS I realized that an idea I had been trying (and failing) to write as a novel was not working as a novel because it was a script. So I ran home and wrote it as a script. It still needs work, but my experience with VFS opened my mind to the different directions my writing could take.
While I was not willing to chuck my day job for film school (I did think about it on a few bad days at work) I jumped at the opportunity to take another intensive so for the next two weekends I will be immersed in script writing and hopefully in polishing the script I wrote after my first intensive. Wish me luck.
Dialogue often drives action in our writing. Description is beautiful and necessary to carry a reader into your world, but dialogue holds a special power to generate tension and get readers into the action. How a character speaks, their choice of words, the length of their statement and what they talk about can tell you a great deal about them and their world. Choose a character you are familiar with and write a scene with only dialogue. Spend thirty minutes showing your readers a world through the words of your character.
If you need further guidance with this exercise consider having your character walk into a room. In that room a dramatic event has taken place…a murder…a love affair, something rather graphic. Resist the urge to describe, but relate the scene to the reader with only the dialogue of your characters.