1st Edition

Creating Dialogue for TV Screenwriters Talk Television

By Monika Bednarek Copyright 2019
    68 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    68 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    As entertaining as it is enlightening, Creating Dialogue for TV: Screenwriters Talk Television presents interviews with five Hollywood professionals who talk about all things related to dialogue – from naturalistic style to the building of characters to swearing and dialect.

    Screenwriters/showrunners David Mandel (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Veep), Jane Espenson (Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, Once Upon a Time), Robert Berens (Supernatural), Sheila Lawrence (Gilmore Girls, Ugly Betty, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel), and Doris Egan (Tru Calling, House, Reign) field a linguist’s inquiries about the craft of writing dialogue. This book is for anyone who has ever wondered what creative processes and attitudes lie behind the words they encounter when tuning into their favourite television show. It provides direct insights into Hollywood writers’ knowledge and opinions of how language is used in television narratives, and in doing so shows how language awareness, attitudes and the craft of using words are utilised to create popular TV series. The book will appeal to students and teachers in screenwriting, creative writing and linguistics as well as lay readers.

    Table of Contents


    1 Introduction

    2 The writers/showrunners

    3 On great dialogue

    4 On naturalism

    5 On the expression of emotion

    6 On building characters through language

    7 On swearing

    8 On dialect

    9 Conclusion


    Monika Bednarek is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney, Australia. She has authored six academic books, most recently Language and Television Series: A Linguistic Approach to TV Dialogue (2018). Her research interests include corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, media linguistics, sociolinguistics, and the linguistic expression of emotion and attitude.