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Understanding the psychological rewards of bad habits
Creating new habits to replace old ones
Have you ever watched a movie or TV show and noticed that a line of dialogue or a plot point seemed familiar? Maybe a character says, "let’s get the hell out of dodge," or the film's hero is a prophesied "chosen one." These are both examples of clichés.
If you're a beginner screenwriter wondering how to avoid using clichés in your own writing, there’s no better guide than acclaimed television writer and producer Shonda Rhimes.
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Any line of dialogue that you've ever heard anybody say before is already a cliché, so don't write it down.
When there are seemingly limitless ways to express a sentiment, why wouldn't you create an original sentence? If you're struggling to come up with fresh words, use a thesaurus—just be...
A cliché is an expression that was once innovative but has lost its novelty due to overuse. Take the phrase “as red as a rose” for example—it is a universal descriptor for the colour red that is now commonplace and unoriginal.
Other examples of clichés include demarcations of time, such as...
Get somebody else to read your dialogue out loud for you, because then you can really hear how it sounds. ” You might not realize you used a cliché until you hear it spoken out loud.
When you finish your first draft, either read your dialogue aloud yourself or ask someone else to read it ...
Your goal isn't to copy somebody that you admire, your goal is to be the thing that other people would admire themselves.
Instead of borrowing from someone else's writing, make your own writing completely original. Make it your goal to write something so innovative that it becomes a new cl...
There's almost nothing new under the sun. But there are different interpretations and different ways of thinking of things that are new." It's impossible to be one hundred percent unique all the time, so try putting a new twist on a familiar concept.
Use a familiar idea as inspiration, and...
You want your dialogue to have a real quality that doesn't feel like 'TV talk.'
Authentic dialogue should sound the way people actually talk. In real life, people don't talk in complete sentences, they use the wrong words, they talk over each other, and nobody says all the perfect things a...
When working on your own screenplays, avoid these common clichés:
“The wrong side of the bed.”
“Think outside the box.”
“Can of worms.”
“What goes around comes around.”
“Dead as a doornail.”
“Plenty of fish in the sea.”
“Ignorance is ...
You can think of the dialogue you write as being the conversations that real people have—the kind you would overhear someone having if you were hiding in a closet in their house."
One of the best ways to get a feel for how people actually talk is to pay attention to how people talk in the ...
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