An excerpt from my script review for Midsommar which will be available 07/08/19:

4.) Dialogue and Description

The dialogue was dreadful.

So. Many. Filler. Words.

If this is your first review with us, let me elaborate. “Filler” refers to starting your dialogue entry with like, well, so, yeah, okay, etc.

Don’t do this with your writing.

Even if you’re going for a stereotype teen, that rarely works in horror and/or comedy. More often than not it’s annoying, and a character the audience can do without.

The boss and I have our children work with a public speaking teacher during the summer, even though they’re still in grade school.


Our middlest especially tells a story where “like” is every third word. It annoys the fuck out of me.

One of the suggestions from the teacher is to stop and think before they speak, composing the story in their minds first.

Writing dialogue is no different since your goal should be, “What is the most interesting way my character can say this?”

Next on the agenda in terms of dialogue, know when to use (and do so sparingly) “side by side” dialogue entries.

This is for characters talking over each other, NOT for interrupting.

Once or twice in a script, may not be great, but readers will get over it. Implement the technique too many times, and your script reads like a loud Thanksgiving dinner with relatives that we all dread, not the edgy and tense scene you were probably going for.

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