[Mini-Workshop] Writing for Emotional Resonance: Applying the Principles of Screenwriting to Writing for Conversational User Interfaces


In writing dialogue for chatbots and sculpting experiences with voice interfaces, a fundamental challenge you’ll face is how to create content designed to engage with people in a way that feels spontaneous, natural, and satisfying. What tenor, form, and cadence should you aim for? How do you define it and how do you create it? Human memory, decision-making processes, and the way you create meaning all rely on emotion — an input chatbots don’t have. So how can you use chatbots to craft emotionally-engaging experiences?

This workshop with Cruce Saunders and Beth Weaving will repurpose the strategies of screenwriting to provide a powerful set of heuristics for chatbot and voice interface writing. You will learn to translate basic principles of dramatic construction for use in creating and evaluating successful interactions. You’ll see the principles in action; illustrated with film and digital examples, as well as brief exercises. You’ll leave understanding the importance of character, backstory, structure, sequence, momentum, exposition, tone, rhythm, and resolution.

Note: This workshop is premised on the belief that what we want is not for our chatbots to be more human, but for them to recognize that we are. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, you’ll learn to harness strategies that lead to emotional resonance so your chatbots can speak to your needs—and the needs of your prospects and customers—in a more human way.