Dialog

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  • Dialog

    Hi there,

    I'm working on a section of dialog between two characters, where they're talking over each other -- one is trying to relay something and the other keeps interrupting, etc. Writing "overlapping," in the parentheticals under their names five or six times, looks a tad distracting. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks!!

  • #2
    Re: Dialog

    I generally like dashes or double-dashes, but sometimes they're distracting too:

    ME
    Why'd you mention dashes if you think they're distracting--

    ME
    Shut the hell up!!
    https://actbreakdown.com

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    • #3
      Re: Dialog

      Hmm. There are a couple of ways to do it based on the actual dialogue and purpose of the dialogue.

      Like, is one person simply not hearing the other and talking about something different?

      MARY
      After you pick up the laundry -

      JOHN
      Hello? I'm telling you I lost my job -

      MARY
      If you don't want to help, John -

      JOHN
      I said I'm unemployed,
      I'm without freaking resources -

      MARY
      I wanted this dinner party to be special -

      JOHN
      I don't believe this - Mary - look at me.
      Is this your garden variety denial or do
      I need to call a doctor -

      MARY
      What are you talking about? Dr. and
      Mrs. Lortistan confirmed they're coming-

      JOHN
      Lortistan is a gynecologist, you need a
      specialist that works further north.


      You can get the idea across by the nature of the dialoge and the dash at the end that denotes they;re cutting each other off.

      Or, if you really want them to overlap set it up as dual dialogue (Final Drafy has a tool for that.) The actors will figre it out. Like

      MARY ................................................ JOHN
      After you pick up the laundry............... I got fired.

      But that degree of overlapping can be distracting for an entire page of dialogue.
      Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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      • #4
        Re: Dialog

        Thanks all.

        I know... I usually use the dashes, but more for when they're interrupting. In this instance, one keeps interrupting referring to things the other is saying, while the other keeps continuing on. I think it really is "overlapping," but I'm probably going to go with dashes or nothing, because you can definitely tell with the dialog alone.

        Example:

        MARY
        I just got back from doing this crazy interview where the guy --

        JOHN
        -- Interview?!

        MARY
        ... never let me get a word in edgewise. He kept talking and talking and talking... then he started laughing, and you'll never guess who --

        JOHN
        -- Laughing?!

        MARY
        ... walked in when, blah blah, blah

        Anyway, that kind of gives you an idea of what I'm getting at.

        PS - Love your examples
        Last edited by JBrown; 05-10-2008, 04:36 PM.

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