Here’s how to avoid screenplayizing your novel:
1) Don’t construct a scene around dialogue
Two people simply talking is not at all interesting on the page, no matter how scintillating the dialogue.
In movies, watching two people just talk can be fascinating because we are actually watching the actors and we’re absorbing way more than just the words they’re speaking. We’re seeing their facial expressions, their gestures, we’re hearing their vocal inflection, we’re absorbing the setting, and there are sound effects and music and countless other small sources of input. Reduce all of that to simply words, and you have yourself a hollow experience…
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