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Writing Your First Play, 2nd Edition by Roger Hall

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4

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Dialogue

Exercise 4.1 Dialogue

Listen to and write down the dialogue of two selected individuals. Write a scene of conflict in which you incorporate into your dialogue some of the speech habits you’ve observed. Minimum length: 4–5 pages.

Just as character stems from action and conflict, so, too, dialogue emerges from conflict and action and character. It does not just exist by itself. If you try simply to create characters talking, they will have little to talk about, and the resulting dialogue will veer toward pretentious philosophizing or empty small talk. If, on the other hand, you create the dialogue to serve a purpose, to complement an action, or to gain a victory in a conflict, it will be necessary and ...

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