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Writing Dialogue for Scripts (Writing Handbooks) [Paperback]

Rib Davis
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 31 Mar 2003 --  
There is a newer edition of this item:
Writing Dialogue for Scripts: Effective Dialogue for Film, TV, Radio and Stage (Writing Handbooks) Writing Dialogue for Scripts: Effective Dialogue for Film, TV, Radio and Stage (Writing Handbooks) 3.4 out of 5 stars (9)
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Book Description

31 Mar 2003 Writing Handbooks
This work deals with the media of stage, radio, television and film, giving plenty of practical advice. It includes examples of the most recent scripted dialogue. Chapters deal with how conversation works, naturalistic and stylized dialogue, pace and variation, scripted narration, comic dialogue and presentation. As well as highlighting the ways in which dialogue varies from one medium to another, this work shows how many of the skills of writing dialogue may in fact be applied to all the script media.

Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd; 2Rev Ed edition (31 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713663804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713663808
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 16.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,029,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


" Oh it's delicious! " -- Reviews Gate, 12th August 2008 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Rib Davis is an award-winning playwright and has had over fifty scripts performed on stage, radio and screen. He has also worked as a script reader for both the BBC and the Arts Council of Great Britain.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to write good dialogue, buy this! 30 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent book. The author begins by exploring how people really talk, then moves on to examine how we need to adapt this when writing fictional dialogue, to retain the essence of realism without the boredom factor. He goes on to look at the different styles of dialogue, from realism and heightened realism to the highly stylised dialogue written by people such as Oscar Wilde. Fascinating stuff, with gems of relevant info on every page.
Unlike many books on fiction writing, the author does not talk down to the reader. Neither does he include general fiction-writing info which is not strictly relevant to the title of the tome - a huge bonus, since it can be irritating when every fiction-writing guide you pick up, whatever its professed subject matter, tells you the same fundamental stuff you've read a thousand times before. Full marks for sticking to the subject and covering it in depth, rather than padding it out with "general" writing tips.
I strongly recommend this book.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Although primarily aimed at scriptwriting, this book reveals how inexperienced writers tend to come out with atrocious lines when they attempt dialogue. The author presents good examples of the common pitfalls. I particularly like the section in Chapter Four when he examines a stretch of crap dialogue and then proceeds to fix the material up. I found this kind of practical advice very useful. In comparison,Stephen King's recent book on writing is a disappointing swindle.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I think when I bought this book I was hoping for some real insights into dialogue and good techniques to use when writing. However after finishing I am not left with this feeling...But I don't think it's necessarily the author's fault.

To be fair I think writing advice on such a specialised topic is difficult and perhaps this is the most insight one can learn.
The author often slips into talking about what makes a good character/plot, and not specifically what makes good dialogue. But I can't blame him given that dialogue is so inherently linked to these other elements. I feel the overall message is: get the basics of the book right and to an extent the dialogue will come.

On top of that there are a few tips such as remembering to write how people speak i.e accents, verbal mannerisms etc. but that seemed fairly evident to me.

So in conclusion, it's probably the subject rather than the writing that makes this book unrewarding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 28 Nov 2011
As an aspiring writer (sit-coms) I can't recommend this book highly enough. Full of advice that when you read it might lead you to think "well that's obvious isn't it?" then you realise - or I did - that obvious it might be, but you hadn't thought of it actually. If like me, you kind of know you have the talent but maybe not the confidence to believe in yourself, this is a must-read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful book 2 Mar 2006
This is a great book. It gives great advice on how to write good dialogue dealing with many different styles of dialogue and how it changes between the different mediums of theatre and screen. The writing style is very easy to understand with no jargon being used without being first explained. I started around the same time that I bought this book and can see a clear difference in the quality of dialogue at the beginning and where I am now which shows just how useful this book is. I would reccommend this to anyone wishing to improve their skills at writing good dialogue for scripts.
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