Lesson #3 Creating Voice_Character Dialogue

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, you are introduced to creating dialogue that will align with your created characters creating a rich script. You will collaborate with your peers to create a dialogue rich scene.

Objectives & Goals

  • Students identify character development through the analysis of dialogue.
  • Students understand the elements of dialogue for a screenplay.
  • Students research how character objectives, traits, and obstacles guide dialogue.
  • Apply character development traits, objectives, and obstacles to create dialogue for a screenplay.

Step 1- Introduction to Cold Reading COLD!

COLD READING #1- Obtain a scene from your teacher or download a scene to read with one other person from the scenes below.  Practice your scene keeping in mind your body language, delivery of dialogue, and character objectives and obstacles.  Create a backstory for your character.  You do not have the entire screenplay only a snippet, so you must create a backstory for your character.  Who are you?  What do you want from the character you are reading with?  What is standing in the way? What tactics will help you get what you want?  You must have purpose.

All of the scenes listed below are from Hollywood Acting Workshop.  You can click here to directly download them from their website or use the links below.  We are using them for education purposes only.

Once you are prepared your scene, you will act it out in front of the class.  Your instructor will give everyone notes on their delivery and you will get a second chance to act out the scene again.  YOU DO NOT HAVE to memorize the script, just get the gist of it and become comfortable for the stage. You need to know and understand what is happening and why.

Step 2- Introduction to Cold Reading Using Professional Technique- Analysis of Dialogue

Obtain a copy of Ivanna Chubbuck’s 12 steps and review them with your partner.

12 Steps to Becoming a Great Actor by Ivanna Chubbuck

Using the first five lines of your given side (short script for cold reading), write on a separate sheet of paper, your characters overall objective, scene objective, obstacle, substitution, inner object, beats and actions, moment before,previous circumstances, and inner monologues.  For each line you have to deliver, write down what the line means.  Why is your actor saying these chosen words?  What does your actor really want to say (subtext)?  What backstory is created from these words? What do you want from your partner?  What are you doing physically in this moment? Why?  Know who you are  and where you came from and the circumstances that lead you to this moment.

Thinking about your reflections and analysis, continue to work on your scene with your partner having an understanding of the 12 steps.

Perform your scene again in front of the class.

Step 3- Introduction to Dialogue- A FEW things to Remember!

Click here to listen to the following lecture which connects lessons from the beginning of this project to this point in the screenwriting process.Capture notes on important ideas in your Film Notes.

Step 4- Reflect Upon Cold Reading Experience

In a short dialogue, discuss why every line, every word, and every beat has purpose. Write a short reflection (1-2 paragraphs) in your online portfolio discussing your experience cold reading, Ivanna’s 12-steps and how you applied them or would like to apply them, and the characteristics you noticed of a successful cold read.

Step 5 – Write DIALOGUE ! GO FOR IT!

Conversation with a Loved One.  Thinking about your story structure, imagine you are your protagonist during the moment before your climax and that you have a short meeting (encounter) with a loved one that is at least thirty years older than you.  Write a short scene using dialogue to tell the story of this short scene.  Keep in mind overall objective, scene objective, tactics, character arc, and relationship between the two characters.


Step 6- Learning from Writers in the Industry

Review this article and video online which consists of interviews with professional writers in the industry.



Submit Final Draft of “Conversation with a Loved One”  to your online portfolio.  It will be graded as an assessment.

Moving On

traffic-light-thNow that you have completed the lesson along with the assessment and submitted all of your artifacts along with objective and reflections to your online portfolio, you may successfully proceed to the next lesson in the unit which is Script Production and Post Production.  Congratulations on completing the 3rd lesson!

Posted in  your portfolio from this lesson-check

      • Reflect on ColdReading Experience – 100 points 
      • Conversation with a Loved One  -500 points