Dialogue Secrets (Screenwriting Blue Books)

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What makes great dialogue? How can I make my characters each have a different and unique voice?

A step-by-step guide to improve your screenplay's dialogue. How to remove bad dialogue (and what *is* bad dialogue), First Hand Dialogue, Awful Exposition, Realism, 41 Professional Dialogue Techniques you can use *today*, Subtext, Subtitles, Humor, Sizzling Banter, *Anti-Dialogue*, Speeches, and more. Almost 200 pages of tools you can use to make your dialogue sizzle!

Special sections that use dialogue examples from movies as diverse as "Bringing Up Baby", "Psycho", "Double Indemnity", "Notorious", the Oscar nominated "You Can Count On Me", "His Girl Friday", and many more!

Professional Screenwriter William C. Martell (19 produced films) shares professional dialogue techniques, showing you step-by-step how to write great dialogue for your screenplay.

Product Details

  • File Size: 275 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: First Strike Productions (October 28, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 28, 2011
  • Sold by:  Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0060SHUIQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled

Customer Reviews

Gold Mine!

5 people found this helpful.
 on May 7, 2015
By K.M. Weiland, Author of Historical and Speculative Fiction
This book is a gold mine. It offers incisive secret after incisive secret to creating stellar dialogue—in either a screenplay or a novel. It does suffer from some shoddy editing (typos and outright repetition), but these are small flaws to deal with in the face of the overwhelming amount of great information crammed into this volume.

Informative but…

4 people found this helpful.
 on January 11, 2013
Although I own many reference books, I rarely read through them from cover to cover. However, I did read this book in its entirety. I’ll begin with the pros – it is quite informative. Many of the reference ebooks I have purchased have been nothing more than fluff and I’m left with the impression that the author did little to no research before slapping a $2.99 tag on their ebook and sending it off to Amazon. This book was not like that. I have been writing professionally for some time and there were things in this book that were spelled out in more detail than I would have been able to give. The only flaw I found with the book is that even though it was published twice, once in 2002 and once in 2011, there are far too many grammatical mistakes for the book to come off as polished. It certainly doesn’t change the content, but it does leave me with the feeling that the author could have put in the extra effort to have a polished work to offer. I suppose not everyone notices that type of thing, but those types of unnecessary mistakes jump out at me. That aside, definitely worth the money!

I’m a produced screenwriter, and I give it 5 stars

One person found this helpful.
 on January 6, 2014
By Hank Woon Jr.
PREAMBLE: I’m a screenwriter at the dawn of my career. To date, I’ve had 3 straight-to-DVD films (very much in the B category–gotta start somewhere) with a fourth “story by” credit on the way. But breaking into the A-List category is challenging; I’ve landed a lit manager, I get meetings with studio execs and producers, and was even recently hired to adapt a novel to script, but it is all more rejection than success. Why?

Fantastic help

 on November 9, 2015
By Rachel Sheridan
The brief feedback I received from the first narrative script I wrote (a short) said that my dialogue was “very on-the-nose”. I had no idea what that meant except that I had some dialogue writing issues. After some Internet searching, I learned what OTN was and landed on this book to help me understand the expectations of writing dialogue.

No-nonsense tips

3 people found this helpful.
 on July 17, 2013
By A. Lindquist
Dialogue Secrets by William C. Martell is a great, no-nonsense guide to refining and polishing the dialogue of your screenplays. Inside are forty great tips. The book is especially invaluable if you are in the midst of a rewrite, as it helps to focus you on the tiny details the make decent dialogue better and make good dialogue great. I highly recommend it as a companion piece to his Secrets of Actions Screenwriting.

Blue ebook a treasure!!!

 on May 28, 2017
By Karam Ezzideen
This is the second blue book in the series I am reading (the first being Idea Machine) and I will never view dialogue the same way after reading this well-written ebook. Not a how-to per se, but learning tools with creativity make it purely inspiring for screenwriting.

One of the BEST books on dialogue out there!

4 people found this helpful.
 on May 5, 2013
By The Z Man
First, let me say I’ve read a lot of books on dialogue, and almost all of them suck. Not just bad, but horrible. I’ve only found one other besides this that I liked, and that was Writing Dialogue for Scripts by Rib Davis. I point this out so you don’t think I’m a shill for this author. That said, this book actually explains what makes dialogue work, and the various types that exist. This is the first book I’ve found that actually answered many of the questions I have about the mechanics of how a conversation or an argument tic. Now I have an actual understanding of the technique of getting two people together and creating an interesting exchange between them. I just saw The Iceman yesterday, and I was able to see the devices deployed, and could understand for the first time the techniques that make words work.

This is a must for any writer’s library!

One person found this helpful.
 on March 27, 2013
By Philip R. Bloom
First a few quick notes: I have previously read only three books on writing, I have no interest in screenwriting per se, this is the first book by Mr. Martell that I have read, and I read this book in its entirety.

Tips and Techniques to Avoid On-The-Nose Dialogue

12 people found this helpful.
 on December 30, 2011
By Ugur Akinci
This is another can’t miss ebook from professional Hollywood screenplay writer Bill Martell. Ask your favorite “writing coach” how many screenplays he or she has actually sold and had them produced. The answer may disappoint you. Bill, on the other hand, already has 19 of them sold and produced and I’m sure he’s working on another couple as we speak. So he must be doing something right, correct?

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