There are some TV shows you love for their plot, some for their characters, some for their dialogue, and some for all of these. Usually it takes at least two of three to keep you hooked, but I can’t believe I’m saying this, I’m hooked on a show for it’s dialogue!
Yes, there are great examples of character journey and a strong plot, but even if there wasn’t I might have to watch it just for the dialogue. I always want to know what they are going to say next.
3 Brainstorming Tips To Make Your Dialogue Pop:
1. Make the mundane Fun. Truthfully, some of the funnest dialogue segments have so little to do with the plot and everything to do with life’s inane conversations. Brainstorm a list of mundane things that could be funny to put in dialogue. This works well in segments where you may have Partners on a job or a situation where people have to hang around waiting for something. It makes them feel like everyday people.
Take this clip, for example:
2. Give the words a surprising spin. Identify some of the more used phrases in your dialogue and replace them with something with more zip. Brainstorm some qualities of your characters or the situations they are in and think of an animal or a life experience that it reminds you of.
One example I have from NCIS LA is when Granger Says, “Is it me, or are the meerkats in Tech getting even stranger?” He could have simply said the tech crew is strange, but instead they give it pop with a surprising spin of words.
3. Let the Words Show Good Natured Fun and Sparring. Brainstorm a list of situations that could build sparring. One partner has a stolen car that is their baby, the odd couple type of scenario, trying to get someone to go on a blind date, etc. What might the characters that like each other find themselves on the opposite side of an issue from the other? What might be fun to rub in to your sidekick or hero/heroine? These are perfect opportunities.
Here is another example: