Let's Help Each Other Out!

This is a place for creative writing teachers to share idea to be come better teachers.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Teaching Dialogue

I bumped into R, a former graduate student and good FB friend at Hastings, and he was out to rent a movie, and then show a few scenes from the movie, as a way to teach dialogue to his creative writing students. That seemed a cool idea, and I immediately thought of my favorite movie that no one has ever seen, OFF THE MAP.  I suspect one reason the dialogue is so good in the movie is that it was originally a play. My prejudice for the word over the image (in film) is showing here, but I must praise the film also for the way each frame is used, and how multiple actions can go on in a frame during the film that do not confuse.

I send my students out into the world to listen in and record dialogue, and then ask them to explain why the dialogue they recorded would not make good dialogue in a story, although it may give them some insights into language and some ideas for a story or a character.

Any thoughts, you writers, if you're out there?


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  2. This post got me to thinking about the films you showed in ENGL 251. In addition to stretching the boundaries of the screen (Pillow Book) you also used some truly classic films (Altman) to explore the language of film.