I have always prided myself on my character-driven stories. Dialogue and I get along quite well. However, in the last two screenwriting competitions I have had the honor of being part of, the judges’ main complaint was that they did not care about my characters.
Of course, the first time this happened, I was a bit put off. The second time it happened, I definitely felt convicted. If I, a character-based writer, cannot write believable characters, then what sort of a writer am I?
After having a bit of soul searching in the shower (where all great thoughts come from), I proceeded to re-write the script without using my usual go-to dialogue.
Do you know what happened? The script turned out great!
I realized that I had been using dialogue as a crutch and, although it is no crime to have good dialogue, it is not a bad thing to have some action in there as well.
Recently, I have written a couple scripts with either very little or no dialogue in them and have enjoyed them just as much as my other dialogue-heavy scripts.
So, my friends, learn from my mistakes: always be conscious of your strengths, but know that they can become weaknesses if you use them as your only way to entertain, enlighten, and enthrall your audience. In other words, to quote a recent Psychology Today article, don’t be afraid to fight against the tide when your “virtue becomes vice.”
With that said, I leave you to explore your own path. Go with God and love what you do!
Blessings in Christ!