Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Hard to Beat the Bullshit Detector

For a few years now I've had an idea for a screenplay stuck in my head. The idea is original and I believe that it has the ability to entertain millions. Those who've heard me describe this idea agree that it has value. It's full of intrigue, twists, turns, and all the necessary dramatic elements required to hold the attention of a full theatre for about two hours (or so I hope).

Although I've defined the main plot, the characters, and the settings, it turns out that it's much more difficult to write a good script than I believed. The issue that keeps getting me is the dialogue. Apparently it's quite challenging to make inherently artificial conversations seem real and pertinent to the plot. Every time I conceive a verbal exchange, the results seem fake.

I've begun to make progress and to develop more realistic dialogue. But this frustrating exercise has reminded me of the difficulty of writing both relevant and realistic conversations. Maybe this is why written speeches and presentations are so difficult to pull off, or why improvisation often comes across more naturally. Practice has helped me get better in my writing. But the innate bullshit detector that is present in most people is a tool that shouldn't be forgotten, no matter what message is being conveyed.
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