With the official release of Star Trek: Beyond in theatres and announcement of Discovery as the title of the new television show, there’s a lot of new Trek in the air. For all the initial praise the movie and show have received, they had to start somewhere. That’s where scripts come into the picture. A good script can make or break a show or movie. Good scriptwriting has a lot in common with good simming. That’s why this post from the BBC’s series on scriptwriting essentials, focusing on dialogue, is just as important for us as for scriptwriters.
Indeed, dialogue is a common feature of both formats. Who doesn’t have a favorite line from a character, or love the tone or inflection of a character? Dialogue is an essential aspect to creating a good character, whether for a movie or for your own sim. Do you want your character to speak in clear, perfect and precise English phrases every time they talk? Do they have a particularly Vulcan style of logical rhetoric? Maybe they don’t use contractions, like Data in The Next Generation.
However you portray your character in your sims, remember, “Great characters have an identifiable voice.” Can you imagine if Spock had used long, rambling sentences? Or if Sisko didn’t refer to Dax as “Old Man”? How different would their characters be? Their dialogue is an intrinsic part of their character.
The same principle applies in your simming. Your character interacts with others through their dialogue. What they say is as important as what they do, if not more so. Writing consistent dialogue for your character helps bring them to life for you and the rest of the fleet. If your character is normally taciturn and quiet, it will be out of character if they suddenly give a long speech. Remember that when you’re responding to tags or leaving some of your own. Each character in the fleet has their own, unique voice. Use your character’s dialogue, not just your action prompts and thoughts, to bring out their voice.