Monday, July 13, 2009

"Dialogue Is the Least of It"

Ann Hornaday wrote an excellent Washington Post article about writing screenplays with some advice and comments that would also be apt for structuring a novel:

"But to call a movie well written is far more than a question of dialogue -- in fact, most filmmakers agree that dialogue is the least of it. Instead, good movie writing comes down to what defines good writing in general: a command of structure, voice and momentum, all in the service of a story that grabs spectators by their throats, then leads them along a path they simply must follow or they won't be able to eat, sleep or lead a happy life.

In short, it's the screenplay that, when it's well written, makes a world come to life with plenty of vivid detail and, in creating characters with just as much singularity, makes the audience care. And it's precisely that emotional investment that, by way of enlightened direction and superb performances, creates an indelible cinematic experience. "

Don’t miss this great sidebar that gives the basic (which doesn’t mean easy or simple) principles of structure that most movies follow.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.