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First Draft: Your Characters Lack Uniqueness? Use These Seven Ways to Give Them Fresh Voices

First Draft: Your Characters Lack Uniqueness? Use These Seven Ways to Give Them Fresh Voices

First Draft

4. Eliminate Unnecessary Exposition Dialogue

There’s nothing more bland than an exposition dump within the dialogue. The worst scripts are infested with them.

Exposition dumps are when a character tells the audience what is going on, who is where, why things are happening, and what could happen if those things keep happening. This is done through their dialogue as they are speaking to other characters—but the truth of it is that they are really speaking to the audience, trying to give them plot information. It’s a horrible habit that screenwriters get into when they are stuck at an act change or have failed to properly structure their stories.

Get rid of the unnecessary exposition. It does you and your characters no favors.

If you have to give out information, find creative and organic ways to do it without having a character take the hit of having to deliver an indistinct block of dialogue that anyone else could say.

While exposition is sometimes necessary, it should never be overused. And when it is overused, it’s usually at the expense of whatever character is saying it.

The story and the plotting within should be shown, not told.

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