Writing Dialogue for a Novel vs a Screenplay

Adding dialogue and character interactions to a story can go a long way in moving the plot forward, as long as that dialogue is interesting, per author and editor Sara Anne Fox. How much dialogue to use depends on what you are writing. With a novel, Fox believes writers can use as much dialogue as they want, as long as it serves the greater purpose of moving the story forward. With screenwriting, however, writing dialogue is a craft that must be mastered. A minute of screen time is an eternity in the world of screenplays, so every word must count. The dialogue in screenwriting must be economical and succinct, Fox says, and doesn't necessarily have to accurately represent how people naturally speak. To hear more on how writing dialogue for a novel differs from a screenplay, click below. 

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