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Book Review: Talk the Talk: A Dialogue Workshop for Scriptwriters

May 6, 2010

Released March 1st, 2010

Page count: 242 pages

Size: 6” x 9”

Talk the Talk: A Dialogue Workshop for Scriptwriters

By Penny Penniston

Published By Michael Wiese Publications


Talk the Talk: A Dialogue Workshop for Scriptwriters Book Review By Erin V.

Conversations are a huge part of life.  Everyday interactions.  It’s why bad dialogue sticks out like a sore thumb when heard on-screen by most people.  So, why aren’t there more books devoted to the subject, and just how do you write good dialogue?

The author of Talk the Talk, Penny Penniston, sets out to tackle this issue.  Written as a series of exercises, coupled with interesting information on dialogue, this book is great for screenwriters, playwrights, or to be used by students, or in workshops.  It’s even a useful book for actors to study different ways to reflect what’s written on the page.

The exercises are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced group exercises, and an equivalent solo exercise, for those going through the book on their own.

Talk the Talk hits interesting points about everyday interactions and how to apply them to characters.  The everyday banter of dialogue can be put in terms of a dance between individuals each changing the mood, length, and direction of the conversation at every turn.  Whether the speaker is taking ‘high’, ‘low, or ‘equal’ status in the conversation, and what the way we speak conveys about our personality, relationships, or confidence.  And what about how different inflections by an actor can so completely and utterly change the meaning of a few simple words?  Using grammar to convey subtle inflections can be a hard task at times…

When writing a script it’s a lot to think about, and even more difficult to convey on the page.  But it gets a whole lot easier with these simple tips and practice.  Help to make your characters three-dimensional with the power of dialogue, by reading this book.


To find out more about the Talk the Talk: A Dialogue Workshop for Scriptwriters, or other books, visit MWP’s website here.

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