Shrinking Part 2: Five Tips For Writing Better Dialogue and Exploding Cliché

Shrinking Part 2: Five Tips For Writing Better Dialogue and Exploding Cliché

In Part 1 of my Shrinking podcast, we got really deep into the link between screenwriting and therapy, as well as the challenges of writing therapy scenes and scenes with therapists as characters. This episode, we’re going to get really crunchy with 5 hugely helpful craft techniques you can learn from Shrinking to write better dialogue in your screenplay. Then we’ll do a deep analysis of a pivotal scene from Episode 9 of Shrinking to show you how to deal with the biggest craft concern of most writers: cliché.  

If you are writing therapy scenes, or if you are writing teaching scenes (which are related and equally challenging for the same reason: the teacher wants to teach, the student wants to learn, so where’s the drama?) there are a couple of things you can think about: 

#1- Question Questions in Your Dialogue. 

This is a good rule of thumb for almost any writing. That’s not to say that questions can’t work in screenwriting. Questions can certainly work under certain circumstances, but questions are hard, because they can undercut drama and force all the weight of the scene onto only one character.

If you’ve ever studied improv, you probably know that asking questions is the most challenging thing you can do to your improv partner. 

That’s because, when you ask a question— unless it’s not really a question: sometimes a question’s a statement, an accusation, a tease, a game, etc— but if you’re really asking a question because you want to know the answer, you are not sharing anything of yourself. You’re basically playing the role of the therapist.

And now your partner is stuck.

They can answer the question, in which case all the drama falls out. You wanted to know, they told you, you’re done. 

Or, they can refuse to answer the question, in which case you have drama, but you’re just having a fight. 

Or, if they are quick and sharp enough and are feeling inspired, they can occasionally come up with the most brilliant, funny, hilarious, complicated response to the question ever, which makes it look like the question worked.

But regardless, there’s only one character doing any work when that happens. There’s no real drama, because all the weight, all the vulnerability of building the relationship has fallen onto the character answering.

The same thing is true in writing. 

When we are writing a screenplay, what we’re really doing is improv on the page. 

We may think, as screenwriters, that we’re supposed to be the puppet master puppeting our characters, but when you do that, you’re basically taking most of the work onto yourself. And most likely your characters are going to come off as exactly the puppets you’re turning them into.

Whereas if you allow your characters to do the bulk of the work for you, then the characters will carry you in so many wonderful ways, and you don’t have to work so darn hard. 

When a character is asking questions, it often means that they’re not doing any work. The other character’s doing all the work. 

If I ask a character, “How you doing?” The character can either reply “I’m doing good,” or “I’m doing bad.” They can answer the question. 

Or, they can refuse to answer the question: “how dare you ask me how I’m doing?” 

Or, they can come up with the most fantastic answer to how they’re doing. 

But regardless of how they answer, they’re doing all the work. 

Whereas if I say “It’s a sad day,” that’s inviting the same kind of response as “how you doing?” But now I’m sharing something of myself, my own point of view on the day. I’m doing some of the work. 

Or if I say, “the wind today is just perfect. The perfect briskness.” 

Well, then the other character can respond, “I don’t like wind.” Or the character can respond, “I’m actually cold,” or “Yeah, it feels like I’m being carried by a mountain breeze.” 

Now both characters are doing work, building a scene together. Both characters are sharing something vulnerable. 

So, one of the things that you want to think about when you’re writing is making sure both characters are doing the work. Particularly if you’re writing therapy or teaching scenes. 

If there are questions in your dialogue, you don’t have to seek and destroy them, but you have to question them. 

Can you turn your questions into statements that share something about the character? Can you turn them into gifts, so that both characters are working equally in the scene? 

#2 – Look out for characters repeating each others’ lines in your dialogue. 

Yes, this is a technique that works great in therapy. But in general, when a character repeats back what the other character’s just said, the other character’s doing all the work. 

For example, if one character says, “You know, you’re really judgmental,” and the response is just, “judgmental?” The first character is doing all the work. The other character has just thrown the ball back without adding anything. 

Whereas if the first character says, “You’re being really judgmental,” and the other character responds, “That’s because I sit in judgment of you,” they’re adding something. They’re sharing something of themselves.

You want to make sure that both characters are– to the greatest degree they can be– contributing in any scene. That they’re not just constantly lobbing the ball back to the other character without adding something themselves. 

#3 – Look out for Enabling Dialogue in your screenplay.

Enabling Dialogue is dialogue that essentially just encourages the other character to keep talking. You want to look out for enabling dialogue. “Tell me more, really, oh my gosh. Why? When? How?” 

You want to look out for Enabling Dialogue in your screenwriting, because when it’s happening the drama is falling out. One character is talking, and the other character is basically saying “go on…”

As a result, we are also only learning one character. 

Here’s one of the dialogue techniques I sometimes use if I’m not sure if both characters are doing equal work in a scene.

I’ll pull their dialogue out of the scene, and I’ll only read one character’s lines. 

Often what you’ll see when you do this is that one character has been saying, “hmm, really, tell me, do you think,” for the whole scene repeating lines and asking questions, while the other character is sharing all these beautiful gifts of themself.

Ask yourself which of these characters you’d rather play, and the results of these problems become really clear.

Because it’s not just me that is going to want to play the character dropping all the beautiful gifts in their dialogue. It’s also going to be every great actor. Which means it’s going to be really hard to cast the other character with an established actor, and as everyone knows, actors get shows and movies made.

But beyond the casting issues, on an artistic and a craft level, you can see when you use this technique how one character is contributing so much of themselves to the scene, while the other character feels like a shell of a human being. We just don’t know them. And when only one character is revealing themself, we’re losing all the efficiency and all the pressure that comes when two characters are being themselves with each other and both contributing to the scene. 

#4- Look out for teaching moments in your screenwriting. 

If you’re going to do a teaching moment, it’s gotta be Mr. Miyagi level of interesting– meaning it’s got to be something weird. It’s gotta be specific.  It’s got to be something new. 

Otherwise, teaching scenes tend to fail for the same reason as therapy scenes— the drama drops out, the writing becomes flat and boring, and suddenly all the work is on you as a writer to find a way to make it interesting, because the characters are simply imparting and receiving information.

#5- Look out for types of scenes we’ve seen before! Take anything “normal” in your screenplay and make it more specific. 

If you are writing a kind of scene we’ve seen before– a therapy scene, a doctor scene, a bank robbery, a buying sneakers, ordering food– it can’t happen the way we’ve seen it happen in all those other shows and movies. Because if it does, we’re not learning anything new about the characters. 

Ask yourself if you could write the word “normal” next to anything in your screenplay: a scene, a character, an image, a line of dialogue… anything. 

If it happens in your screenplay as it normally happens, if she says what people normally say in the situation, if the character is doing a lot of normal things and making a lot of normal choices that are not unique to them, if they’re asking the questions most therapists would ask, doing the teaching that most teachers would do, ordering food the way most people order food, buying shoes the way most people buy shoes, saying “hi” the way most people say “hi,” they’re doing normal

Every single time you allow normal to drop into your script, you are losing an opportunity for efficiency. You are losing an opportunity for a revelation of character. And that doesn’t mean that every character has to be weird, it just means that every character has to be specific

If your character says, “hey, how’re you doing?”  that’s what everybody says when we say hi. So we know nothing about the character.

You want to ask yourself: can I turn this into a statement instead of a question? 

And after considering that, if it has to be a question, how does my character ask the question differently than any other character? How do they do it in a way that’s so them? How do you find the specificity? 

Once I start to use the words normal and specificity, once I start to talk about having to make a choice, to push your characters to make different kinds of choices than we’ve seen before or more specific versions of those choices, you might start to realize that what we’re really talking about here is a concept called cliché.

Cliché is probably the most terrifying word for any screenwriter.

It’s probably the scariest word for any kind of creative professional. We are all terrified of being cliché. And sometimes, we’re afraid of cliché to an extent that it actually damages our writing. 

We’re so afraid to put the cliché thing down on the page because as soon as we write the cliché, we end up judging ourselves as writers. We end up telling ourselves, “You suck, you cliché writer, you talentless hack.” 

We have a whole vocabulary that we’ve been building since like eighth grade, when some teacher said, “this is cliché and cliché is bad.” 

What I’d like to suggest to you is that cliché is not bad. 

Cliché is not dangerous. Cliché doesn’t mean you’re not a good writer. Everybody writes clichés all the time. We all have stereotypes in our heads. We all have things we’re used to hearing and seeing, and we all fall into clichés from time to time. 

So if you find yourself falling into cliché, instead of judging yourself, instead of being angry at yourself, instead of picking on yourself, I want you to look at your cliché, not even as a red flag, but as a yellow flag for a rewrite. 

The cliché in your screenplay an invitation to look, listen and feel more specifically in your writing. 

So the first step in taking cliché writing and making it not cliché is to let go of the judgment of your cliché. 

If you judge your cliché, if you judge yourself for writing a cliché, you’re going to start to react to that– “I don’t want to be cliché!” And instead of writing truthfully, you’re just going to start writing weirdly. Now, instead of writing cliché, you’re writing disconnected specificity. And that might be even worse for an audience, who still has no idea who the character is— only now it also doesn’t make any sense. They’re just weird without feeling real.

What you’re looking for instead is “Oh, isn’t that interesting?” 

That’s why I prefer to use the word normal rather than cliché. It just has so much less emotional weight to it.

“Oh, I wrote something normal.” It’s so much less concerning! But it’s also a reminder that you’re not looking closely enough. 

The truth is, there are no normal people in the world. I’ve yet to meet a normal person. Everybody in the world is so frickin weird. You’re weird. And if you follow your most boring friend around for a little while, you will realize that they are weird, too. We are specific creatures.

So when you recognize normal in your screenwriting, what you want to do is look more, listen more closely, feel more closely. 

You might want to ask yourself: “how does my character do this normal thing in a slightly different way than any other character?” 

You might want to zoom in: “what do I see?” and keep looking till you see something that surprises you. 

You might want to listen: “what do I hear?” and if you hear “normal” in the dialogue, let them keep talking until you hear something a little bit weird. A little bit specific, something that feels like, “Oh, that is so them.” 

If you try to write with this kind of specificity,  all the time, from the very first draft, what actually happens is your inner censor gets involved and your inner censor starts censoring you! “This is no good. That’s no good.”

Pretty soon, you can’t even get the ideas onto the page because you’re so terrified that maybe you’re writing cliché. 

But if you let yourself just kind of sit in it, you can find the specificity for yourself over time.

Everybody writes clichés. I write clichés in my first drafts too, and then out of the cliché, I look for what’s already specific, and I keep that. And then at any moment that I could write the word “normal,” any moment where I’ve seen this kind of thing this way in a movie before, I just need to look, listen and feel more specifically until I find something that surprises me. 

As you start discover that specificity in your writing, suddenly, all that specificity starts to do other work for you as well. 

It starts to give you clues of who this character is, and how this character is slightly different from every other character in the world.

Then every time you meet them, you can just ask yourself, “are they doing something similar to that wonderful, specific thing? Or are they doing something different from that wonderful, specific thing?”

When you turbocharge your screenwriting with specificity, and then start to react to that specificity (yes… and that specificity to put it in improv terms), suddenly, instead of trying to write “great” characters, you’re just writing characters that live and breathe on the page. 

Instead of trying to hold yourself to a standard where every word you write is gold, suddenly you’re just writing people who feel real. Because you started with something specific, and then you built on that, and you built on that, and you built on that, and you allowed that foundation to carry you through the script. 

Connected to this fear of cliché in screenwriting is another fear called “plagiarism.” 

Many writers fear being plagiarized. But, even worse, many writers fear that they themselves might be inadvertently plagiarizing: “Oh no! I just wrote Yoda.”  “Oh no! I just wrote a scene that’s just like something in one of the most famous scenes ever.” “Oh, no! I just, I did the unthinkable.” 

And yet, at the same time, we know that writers have influences. 

When Scorsese does it, we call it an homage, not plagiarism. So what’s the difference? What makes something an homage versus a plagiarism? 

When we copy something that already exists in a movie, it’s actually just another version of cliché.

It was specific when they did it the first time, but it isn’t specific anymore, because it’s already been done that way. And that’s why it feels like plagiarism. 

But an homage feels different, right? Homage feels like they’re honoring something. 

So I’m gonna give you a little metaphor, a simple way of thinking about cliché. And then we’re gonna look at a scene from Shrinking, from Episode Nine of Season One, that I think is going to beautifully illustrate this concept for you. 

Here’s how you know if you are “homaging” or if you are plagiarizing in your screenwriting.

Here’s how you know the difference in your own writing: Great writers do not borrow. But great writers do steal. 

What do I mean by that? 

If I borrow my neighbor’s lawn mower, I am taking something that does not belong to me. I am using it for the exact same purposes, in the exact same way that that other person used it. It’s not my lawnmower, but I’m acting as if it’s mine: that’s borrowing.

And if you’re borrowing in your screenplay, you should be concerned. If you’re taking somebody else’s scene and using it in exactly the same way they used it, not only are you plagiarizing– not only are you borrowing somebody else’s thing– but you’re also writing cliché, right? You’re literally just regurgitating something that’s already been done. You’re not actually looking, listening, feeling, finding the specificity. 

But great writers do steal, and here’s the difference. 

If I steal your lawnmower, and I turn it into a sculpture, it’s no longer a lawnmower. I’ve taken it and I’ve transformed it for my own uses. I’ve adapted it. It cannot be returned to you and still do the same thing: it is something new. I have made something new out of it.

That is homage. That is beautiful. That is part of the artistic process. That is having influences. 

You might be doing an homage to a true story that happened to you, to a movie that influenced you, to a scene in a show. 

Sometimes, you’re “homaging” things that you don’t even know you’re referencing. You don’t even remember having witnessed it in the first place. You’ve brought it into you. 

So when you’re inspired by another scene, don’t just borrow it. Don’t use it the same way. Don’t write a cover song that sounds exactly like the way the previous artist sang it; write a cover song that sounds like the way only you would sing it. 

In other words, find a more specific way of doing it. 

Which brings us to Season 1, Episode 9 of Shrinking, and a great example of homage vs plagiarism, and how to explode clichés in your screenwriting. 

The scene we’re about to talk about starts at 00:06:40 of episode nine, right after the credit sequence. 

To catch you up on where we are– and there are going to be some spoilers now…

Jimmy has spent the last eight episodes trying to reestablish his relationship with his daughter. And that has forced him to recognize that:

#1 – he’s going to have to deal with some of the things in his relationship with his idealized dead wife that were actually messed up and complicated, and face some of the questions and the fears he has about that relationship. 

#2 – he’s going to have to start to perform as a father and earn his daughter’s trust back, even though things are really hard. He is going to have to go on a therapeutic journey. 

It is Jimmy’s wife’s birthday, and he has realized that he has to let her go. He has been under pressure throughout the show to clean out her closet. So he’s finally cleaned out her closet.

That moment is handled in a really short scene. 

And the reason that’s a really short scene is there’s nothing new there. We’ve seen closets cleaned out before in this context. So this is Jimmy cleaning out her closet. It’s two shots: stuff into a box, box carried out. 

Which is another valuable trick I didn’t talk about earlier: if you’re gonna do stuff that’s normal, do it frickin’ fast. 

If you’re gonna do stuff that’s not specific, do it really frickin’ fast.

 If you can’t find a specific way of doing it, you’ve got to speed it up– because we already get it, because it’s normal. In this case, those two shots are all you need.

In the process of cleaning out her closet, Jimmy sits down and he looks at a picture book. The cover of the picture book says, “What a ride. Chop choo!” And on the cover is a picture of Jimmy and his, now deceased, wife. 

You might recognize where we are going here. You have seen this scene before in the hugely successful Pixar film Up. So is this plagiarism, or homage? And how does Shrinking make this scene work without feeling cliche? 

To remind you of how it works in Up– if you haven’t seen Up, run, don’t walk… but there will be spoilers ahead…

Carl and Ellie meet as children. She shows him this adventure book about Paradise Falls, this place she dreams of going. There’s a bunch of blank pages at the end that she’s saving for when she gets to Paradise Falls. And Carl and Ellie live a life together from childhood to old age, and they never get to Paradise Falls. And she dies. And that adventure book never gets filled up. 

Through a sequence of things that can only happen in a beautiful Pixar film, Carl ends up flying their house, and all the things they accumulated over a lifetime together, to the very spot in Paradise Falls that they always dreamed of visiting. They always dreamed their house would be there. This is the adventure he was supposed to have with his wife. 

But he lands on the wrong end of the falls, and now he’s got to drag his house to the right side of the falls, and he’s stuck with this kid Russell who hitched a ride, and it’s a mess. And he’s miserable about it because he’s not having the adventure he was supposed to have with his wife.

At the end of Act 5 (in a 7 act structure) of Up, Russell has lost his faith in Carl. 

With Russell, Carl has developed this kind of father-son relationship that he’s always wanted. But at the end of Act 5, he has lost Russell’s faith, and Russell’s flown off on a leaf blower to go confront the bad guy on his own and save his beloved bird. 

And Carl goes into his house with all these possessions he’s been trying to hold on to, and he discovers the picture book. 

We’ve seen the picture book several times at this point. Here are all these pictures from their childhood, and the blank pages they’d left for the adventure that they were supposed to have together, the adventure they were robbed of that made Carl so bitter. 

But then he flips the page. And we discover that Ellie has filled the book with other pictures that he was not aware of. And they’re not the big adventures that they dreamed of as children, they are pictures of the simple adventure that they had as adults. Those simple, real life moments that made their lives matter. And when we get to the end of those blank pages, she has inscribed:

Thanks for the adventure! Now go have a new one. 

And that’s when you cry. And that’s when Carl is finally able to let her go and go off chasing his real adventure– which is to become a father to Russell. So that is the way that this very scene that you’re about to watch works in Up.  

Compare the scene from Up! with the scene from Shrinking and you’ll see a lot of similarities. 

Jake compares the famous “adventure book” scene from Pixar’s Up! and the photo-album scene from Shrinking to show you how to turn a familiar scene into something fresh and new.

Jimmy flips through the book, and there are the exact kind of pictures that we would see in Up. The little adventures that they had together. There’s a picture of their wedding. (And this is important, because Jimmy’s about to officiate his best friend’s wedding and he’s having a really hard time with it). 

So far, we are in essentially the scene that we’ve already seen in Up.

Now there’s a little moment of specificity: Jimmy fingers his wedding ring. It’s a little bit of a closer observation, right? This is not exactly the way we’ve seen it in Up, this is a specific moment that’s very Jimmy. This is him wrestling with the fact that he is still wearing that ring and wondering if it’s time to take it off. So we’ve got a little bit of specificity.

Jimmy flips the page, and there’s Alice, as a little baby: his daughter, from whom he is feeling estranged, with whom he’s trying so hard to reestablish a relationship. 

You can see we’re still in “Up!-land,” but this is just a little more specific, right? A little more true to Jimmy’s life. We’ve gone through the standard Up adventure stuff, and now there’s Alice and a memory of what that once felt like.

Then we get to the pictures of Alice and her mother (Jimmy’s wife) Tia, together. 

And then Jimmy flips to the blank pages. And this is just a tweak to the Up! scene: the blank pages have not been filled in. 

There’s not an adventure they had together that he didn’t remember. It’s just the blank pages. And we get this really beautiful, specific line:

“So that’s all we get. But it was so fun.”

What I’m trying to show you here– now I feel a little weepy just rewatching this scene, and you’re probably feeling it too if you’ve been watching the show– is that even though this scene is taken directly out of Up, it does not feel cliché. It does not feel plagiarized, it does not feel borrowed. It feels stolen, in a good way. 

What these writers have done is taken a scene from Up and twisted it to their own uses. 

Yes, they’re both scenes of a character looking at a picture book. They’re both scenes about a picture book with blank pages. But in this version, the blank pages have not been filled in. So instead of building to the realization that the real adventure is not about getting to Paradise Falls, but rather about the little things in life, in Shrinking that small stuff is already the adventure that Jimmy’s missing. There is no Paradise falls he’s been dreaming of. The little stuff is already all that Jimmy wants and it’s gone. And the blank pages have not been filled in; there is no unexpected future that this has all been building to…

So the realization for Jimmy is, “So that’s all we get.” It’s a different revelation. And then the next phase of it is, “but it was so fun.” 

Jimmy’s realization is rather that this thing he has been grieving, and messing up over, and suffering over, and struggling over for the last eight episodes, was actually so much fun. And this is one of the biggest turns in this piece.

In fact, from this point forward, if you have seen the pilot, we’re literally moving towards the celebration: this is a therapeutic series. 

Most writers would never have allowed themselves this scene that just made you cry. 

They would never have allowed themselves the scene because they’d go “Oh, no! I just wrote Up! This is one of the most famous scenes in film history that I’ve just plagiarized.”

But look at what they do with the scene! 

The writers of Shrinking don’t fear the cliché. They lean into the cliché, and then they just find a couple of moments of specificity. A couple of moments to do their own, slightly different, slightly more specific, “oh so Jimmy” thing. 

And by doing that they breathe new life into the scene. 

In fact, if you’ve seen Up! you probably noticed as you were watching that this scene from Shrinking is actually in a sort of dialogue with the scene from up– that’s what homage means. 

If you have that scene from Up! in your mind, you think you know where this is going, and you’re so beautifully and pleasantly surprised to realize it’s actually going somewhere else. Somewhere equally true and equally profound. 

So this is what I want to leave you with: don’t fear your clichés. 

Don’t judge your cliché. 

If you wrote something that felt true, and you realize that it’s already been done in a script, your job is not to judge. It’s not to reject, it’s not to throw out. It’s not to censor. It’s not to blame. 

Your job is to look more closely. Listen more closely. Feel more closely. To keep looking until you are surprised. To ask yourself, well, if that’s true, what else might be true? To find your own specific take. 

The scene from Season 1, Episode 9 of Shrinking is not a new scene. It’s an old scene, looked at a little bit more specifically, with a couple of little tweaks.

And this is the beautiful thing about being a screenwriter. Often the difference between a boring, cliché script and a gorgeous, moving, specific, and new-feeling script are just a few little tweaks. A few little moments where instead of judging themselves, the writers said “Well, how would Jimmy do it? What do I see? What do I feel? No, that’s normal. That’s been done. How do I see it just a little bit different?”

If you’re enjoying this podcast and you’re getting a lot out of it, come study with us. We have master classes for people who want to take their writing to the professional level. We have foundation classes in screenwriting and TV writing for those of you who are building your skills as writers. We have the ProTrack mentorship program that will pair you one on one with a professional writer who will read every single scene you write, every draft you write, every revision that you revise, and mentor you through your entire career– all for the tiniest fraction of what you would pay for grad school. 

You can do it all live, online, from the comfort of your own home. So come check it out.

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    • You represent and warrant that you have the full right and authority to grant Company the rights provided in this agreement and that you have made no commitments which conflict with this agreement or the rights granted herein.  You agree that your participation in the Course is entirely at your own risk and accept full responsibility for your decision to participate in the Course.  In no event shall you have the right to enjoin the development, production, exploitation or use of the Course and/or your Contributions to it. 
  5. Governing Law and Venue.  This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York without regard to its conflict of laws provisions.  The parties hereto agree to submit to personal and subject matter jurisdiction in the federal or state courts located in the City and State of New York, United States of America.
  6. Dispute Resolution.  All claims and disputes arising under or relating to this agreement are to be settled by binding arbitration in the state of New York or another location mutually agreeable to the parties.  The arbitration shall be conducted on a confidential basis pursuant to the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association.  Any decision or award as a result of any such arbitration proceeding shall be in writing and shall provide an explanation for all conclusions of law and fact and shall include the assessment of costs, expenses, and reasonable attorneys’ fees by the winner against the loser.  Any such arbitration shall include a written record of the arbitration hearing.  An award of arbitration may be confirmed in a court of competent jurisdiction.
  7. Miscellaneous.  Company may transfer and assign this agreement or all or any of its rights or privileges hereunder to any entity or individual without restriction.  This agreement shall be binding on all of your successors-in-interest, heirs and assigns.  This agreement sets forth the entire agreement between you and the Company in relation to the Course, and you acknowledge that in entering into it, you are not relying upon any promises or statements made by anyone about the nature of the Course or your Contributions or the identity of any other participants or persons involved with the Course.  This agreement may not be altered or amended except in writing signed by both parties.
  8. Prevention of “Zoom-Bomber” Disruptions; Unauthorized Publication of Class Videos. Company will record each class session, including your participation in the session, entitled “The Videos”. To prevent disruptions by “zoom-bombers” and provide Company and

    participants the legal standing to remove unauthorized content from platforms such as YouTube and social media sites, you agree that

    (1) you are prohibited from recording any portion of the Course;

    (2) in exchange for the opportunity to participate in the Course, you assign to Company your verbal contributions to the session discussions.

    To be clear, you assign to Company only your oral statements during recorded Course sessions. You retain all copyright to any and all written materials you submit to the class and the right to use them in any way you choose without permission from or compensation to the Company.

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