Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Bea-ing Dramatic

I enjoy going to the theatre, although it has been a while since I was last at a live performance. (Note to self: print off copy of this blog and leave where hubby can find it.)
Me, being dramatic
Script writing is different to writing short stories. The audience doesn’t need to be told what is happening: they can see the stage set; look at the actors; assess their age and social standing from what they wear; witness their tears; hear their laughter. Conversation on stage or screen has no need for descriptive prose.

In writing stories, it is for the author to create the scene with words, to describe and identify the characters, to give each one a distinctive voice. Show not tell, is the maxim often repeated to student writers. Through the skill of words alone, we must show the emotions being experienced by the character, rather than simply to relate what they are feeling. 

The aim of both script and prose writing is to enable the watchers / readers to immerse themselves in the story being portrayed. Without the intervention of an actor, dialogue in prose has to work harder. If we keep it realistic and allow emotions to show through, the reader will forge a direct link to the character. 

When it is done well, the reader will not notice the words or the page upon which they are written. They will become the character, see what they witness, experience what they feel. But overdramatise a scene and it can descend into farce. 

Well written dialogue, whether on stage or in a novel, is a thing of beauty. I no longer take it for granted.


  1. I love that picture, and great post as well. True that we have to create realistic and likeable characters. Harder than it sounds.

    1. It certainly is, Susan. I'm in awe go those who seem to do it so effortlessly.

  2. The ideal is to make the reader forget they're reading!

    1. I think it's when I forget I'm writing that it works best, Patsy.