One of the things that scripts consistently get wrong is dialogue involving children. It seems adults are inexorably bad at coming up with things that children say. Behold a sample from my own script, as it is currently being circulated in screenwriting contests:
Are you done yawning yet? I have four nephews and nieces, and I don’t think any of them would respond to that question that way. And even if they would, we shouldn’t write it that way, because it’s just plain boring.
So as I thought about this, I wondered aloud what I have heard my nieces and nephews say when I walk into the room and they’re excited to see me. Behold the updated version of this scene:
Is it the best moment in the script? No. But all of a sudden, this line of dialogue is no longer a mound of coal that the reader has to dig through in order to get to the diamond in the scene. It’s something that actually entertains. Suddenly this little girl is funny and adorable, so we immediately care about her and (more importantly), by proxy, her father, a protagonist who needs all the help he can get in being portrayed as sympathetic.
The fact that this interaction takes place in the first five pages of the script makes it all the more important that it’s an interesting read and drives us powerfully toward the main action in the scene.