how to write a phone conversation in a script

How To Write A Phone Conversation In A Script That Moves Your Story Forward

Phone conversations are a crucial aspect of screenwriting. They are powerful tools for moving the story forward and revealing important information about the characters. However, writing a phone conversation in a screenplay can be challenging. It requires a balance of realistic dialogue, emotional depth, and plot advancement. In this article, we will provide you with tips on how to write a phone conversation in a script. We will also provide an example to help you craft engaging phone conversations in your story. 


Establishing A Phone Conversation Scene

Phone conversations can reveal important plot points, establish character relationships, and create tension. When writing a phone conversation scene, it is essential to consider the pacing and structure of the conversation to ensure that it moves the story forward.

The first step in establishing a phone conversation scene is introducing the characters and their location. It is essential to set the scene and create a visual picture in the reader’s mind. For this you must know about the story creation process. Have a look at our guide on how to write montage in script.

Next, consider the tone and purpose of the conversation. Is it an important business call or a personal conversation between two friends? This will shape the language and dialogue used in the scene.

It is also important to consider the emotional impact of the conversation on the characters. A phone conversation can convey emotions, from anger and frustration to love and longing. Use descriptive language to capture the character’s feelings and reactions.

Finally, you must end the conversation in a way that propels the story forward and leaves the reader wanting more.


Writing The Dialogue For A Phone Conversation Scene

Writing dialogues in a script can be challenging, but with the right strategy, it can be done successfully. The first step is to understand the purpose of the scene and the characters involved. Are they discussing something important or casual? What emotions are they feeling? Once you understand this, you can start writing the dialogue in a way that accurately portrays the characters’ personalities and feelings.

It’s important to remember that phone conversations are different from in-person conversations. There is no body language or facial expressions to rely on. So the dialogue must convey everything that needs to be communicated. This means that the dialogue should be concise and to the point but still sound natural. It’s also important to keep the conversation flowing smoothly without awkward pauses or interruptions.


The Role Of Subtext In A Phone Conversation In Script

Subtext refers to the underlying message or meaning a character tries to convey in a conversation without actually saying it aloud. Phone conversations are especially challenging. As characters do not have the luxury of relying on non-verbal cues. Thus, the use of subtext becomes critical in phone conversations. It ensures that the audience understands the true intentions and emotions of the character.

In a script, subtext can be incorporated through word choice, tone, and inflection. For instance, characters may use innocuous words to mask their feelings or desires.

Similarly, a change in tone or inflection can convey a completely different meaning to what is being said explicitly. Employing subtext in phone conversations can add realism and authenticity to the scene and help the audience engage with the characters on a deeper, emotional level.


Example Of A Written Phone Conversation

Here is an example of how to write a phone conversation in a script:


Sarah sits at her kitchen table, staring at her phone. It rings. She hesitates, then answers.

SARAH Hello?

JASON (V.O.) Hey, it’s Jason.

SARAH Hey, what’s up?

JASON (V.O.) Listen, I need to talk to you about something.

SARAH (alarmed) What is it? Is everything okay?

JASON (V.O.) Yeah, everything’s fine. I just wanted to ask you about the project we’re working on. I had some ideas over the weekend and I wanted to run them by you.

SARAH (relieved) Oh, okay. Yeah, let’s hear them.

JASON (V.O.) Well, I was thinking we could try a different approach to the marketing strategy. Maybe focus more on social media and influencer marketing.

SARAH (interested) Hmm, that’s an interesting idea. I hadn’t thought of that.

JASON (V.O.) Yeah, I think it could really help us reach a wider audience. What do you think?

SARAH (mulling it over) I like it. Let’s schedule a meeting to discuss it further.

JASON (V.O.) Great, I’ll send you some more details and we’ll set something up.

SARAH (smiling) Sounds good. Thanks for calling, Jason.

JASON (V.O.) No problem. Talk to you soon.

Sarah hangs up the phone, feeling more confident about the project than before.


Write Compelling Phone Conversations

Writing a phone conversation in a screenplay is a skill that can enhance the quality of your script. As discussed, phone conversations can reveal necessary information about characters and advance the plot. This makes them an essential tool in screenwriting. 

Remember to set the scene, write realistic dialogue, and use conflict and tension to keep the conversation engaging. Proper formatting is also vital to conveying the conversation effectively on the page, for this you can use video script templates

Finally, as with any skill, practice is crucial. So, take these tips and put them into practice. With time and effort, you can write phone conversations in your script that captivate your audience and move your story forward.


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