December 2 - December 9 • 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM (EST)
About the workshop
Learn to write flawlessly halting, fumblingly REAL dialogue! Dialogue mastery is an essential, oft-overlooked skill—arguably THE most important tool in the writer’s toolbox—and you can MASTER it.
This workshop is a fun, collaborative, observation-based 2 weeks where you will learn to identify convincingly real ways “real humans really talk” (read: fumbling, dumb, inarticulate, subtexy, halting, exquisitely imperfect stuff!).
Whether you're a fiction writer, screenwriter, or playwright (aspiring or otherwise), the most dependable “weak link” in any piece of middling writing is always: BAD DIALOGUE!
Mushy and sentimental, robot stiff, hyper-articulate, or full of cloying narrative exposition, dialogue that hasn’t been trained on actual human conversational rhythm is a liability. When we nail authentic conversational voice, we DEEPEN investment in the world we’ve built, its humans’ emotional inner lives and endearing foibles. But, when we miss the conversational mark, an otherwise enthralled viewer/reader is rudely shoved from the speeding revelry of your brilliant fictional work … SMACK onto the ugly sidewalk.
What you will learn
Let’s treat our readers/viewers better, and suck them in totally with smarter, human-textured dialogue! Here is the breakdown: •Between our 1st and 2nd class you’ll embark on your own “urban safari”—a listening tour of how real people talk out in the real world, or more specifically: in your town/city, favorite coffee shop, public restroom line, on gloriously bad first dates, etc. Learn how to do this exercise on your own, forevermore, both as a brilliant-idea-generating hat trick AND as essential writer’s “ear training.” • Work with your own existing written dialogue to surgically shave off any unnecessary flourishes, and home in on your characters’ authentic “heart statements." • Learn tricks and techniques on how to nail down your characters' idiosyncratic talking styles. • Through partner work, and with direct feedback from Lauren, do fun, elevating writing exercises together in class, to shape your dialogue writing into its most gorgeously/hilariously authentic iteration.
• You’ll develop a highly-attuned ear for authentic versus inauthentic dialogue in films, books, and plays. • Give everything you write an instant edge by sharpening, character-deepening, and authenticity-proofing your dialogue. Take your art from, say, “4 out of 5 stars” to a blazing “5 out of 5” stars. (If killer art worked like a Yelp review?). • Learn Lauren’s “5 Principals of Real [Damn Good] Human Dialogue.” • Armed with the ability to perform the “real human” test on any dialogue you write, the fictional characters you’re creating in your scripts, fiction, and plays will henceforth leap off the page with all-new emotional resonance and relatability!
What you will be reading
Together, we’ll look at a selection of primo script and play dialogue (e.g., Annie Baker, Winnie Holzman) for inspiring treks through dialogue at its highest realization—as well as cautionary examples. But much of the “reading” we do together will come from creating, sharing, and refining YOUR OWN writing, through careful observation, revision, and using your new “must past muster” dialogue rubric!
This class meets weekly over Zoom.
The purchase of this workshop comes with a $50 off coupon for Lauren's February workshop with us, Your Teenage Self Was a F***ing Star: A Screenwriting Workshop!
About the instructor
Lauren Veloski is a screenwriter, comedy writer, and brave champion of the flip phone. Her first feature script, the indie comedy “SORRY, THANKS,” was praised by Lena Dunham for writing “as seamless as any studio rom-com—if studio rom-coms had astute, nuanced dialogue.” An “unromantic comedy” about the wreckage wrought by casual douchebaggery, “SORRY, THANKS” world-premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, played 15 fests internationally, and was acquired by IFC/Sundance. After 15 years as the “story brain in the room” on countless television and film projects, Lauren launched her creative coaching company, THAT’S BANANAS, in 2022. Through THAT'S BANANAS, she does what she most loves: working one-on-one with writers at all levels, helping them come fully into their badassery and power on the page.
Learn to write smarter, human textured dialogue