Author Topic: Writer's Club Discussion  (Read 4838 times)

smirnoff

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2011, 04:58:25 PM »
Pg. 13

Who's Roger?

Would I be right to assume you did a FIND and REPLACE? It appears to have been case sensitive.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 05:02:20 PM by smirnoff »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2011, 05:34:28 PM »
Yea, one day I wrote like 8 pages and called Edgar Rodger on all the pages. I thought I finally squished that little error. Guess not. Thanks for pointing it out.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2011, 05:36:37 PM »
Gahh, he lives! Found two more of em.

I'm gonna have to make a character named Roger now because apparently he will appear in my screenplay whether I want him to or not.

FroHam X

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2011, 06:01:26 PM »
  • First of all, nobody says "drat" anymore. Nobody. Change it to shit, or something like that. God dammit, Sam, swear.
  • Second, too much explaining of the world, particularly through background dialogue. Sometimes it's important to understand how the world came to be. For example, in The Matrix it is important to understand how human beings doomed themselves by creating AI AND blotting out the sky, and then ended up as power generators. In this case you go through more simple things like "In so and so year so and so invented so and so." It's enough to simply introduce the tech.

    In fact, based on your love of Blade Runner, might I recommend eschewing the news reports and just having a one-card text or definition at the start? Eh? Eh? lol.
  • Third, just as there there is too much explaining, there is also too much jargon/ambiguity in the dialogue. It's great to insert bits of jargon that the audience doesn't know, and so has to fill in on their own. But there is a bit too much here, and it comes across a little like it's trying too hard. As well, sometimes there is a bit of LOST-syndrome, where characters talk around things, use jargon, but are not explicit enough in their conversation. Basically, it's like you as a writer are purposely keeping things vague, that wouldn't otherwise be.
  • Fourth, and final, there isn't enough narrative momentum. I'm going to reference Inception here, so bear with me. Inception begins with about 10 minutes of jargon-y nonsense that hooks you into the mystery of the world. Then it introduces a plot. And then it gets into explaining the world for like 30 or 40 minutes. You can argue for or against all the exposition, but it happens through proper discussions related to the plot, and also through an audience surrogate being taught the ropes.

    Either way, check out that structure. You've got a hook. An introduction to the plot/premise. And then the explaining.

    Now I'm not saying you need to follow that or anything, but Nolan does something that you script is lacking for a fairly large chunk, and that's a sense of narrative momentum. You've got a really good quick hook at the opening, but after that it moves very quickly from scene to scene, introducing us to the world and the mechanics (though a lot is still vague), but without a sense that there is a proper narrative in motion that should make me really invested in what's going on.

    You should find a way to give more direct hints to the later developments in the last bunch of pages. Give the story a greater force of mystery or narrative. It'll help a lot, and it will actually help to flesh out the characters a bit more.


Criticisms over.


I love the premise. It's awesome. Like some unholy mix of The Matrix, Children of Men and Inception.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 06:29:45 PM by FroHam Dawson »
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2011, 06:49:27 PM »
Yea, I should probably put swear words in there. Everyone else in my class is dropping f-bombs left and right. I dunno, I tend to only write swear words when I'm being sarcastic or I'm pissed. And writing this, I was neither.

I've wondered about how much background. I'd love to leave it all unexplained. But no title cards explaining stuff. That's dull, even in Blade Runner.

As for narrative momentum....Well...it's kinda intentional. The next act is gonna be crazy different and I've set up tiny little bits as to what might happen but yea, right now it's not clear at all where any of this is going and that's a problem. And I did that on purpose. It's probably just because I despise plot.

I think part of the problem is that I'm thinking in arthouse terms while writing a blockbuster. Yea, that's messed up, I don't know if it will work, but I think it's interesting.

Thanks for the suggestions. I've certainly got plenty to think about.

FroHam X

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2011, 06:58:44 PM »
Yes, but even in arthouse films there needs to be a sense of momentum. If not "i can see the plot" then "I can see the arc for this character" or anything like that. Something that gives us a reason beyond the pretty pictures or the premise to actually want to watch what happens. I totally get why you kept it light on plot for the first act, and I like that in films, but you need to insert some kind of momentum, especially when there are so many scene/location changes.


And you don't like that title card on Blade Runner? I always loved it. It isn't even giving history, just a definition.



EDIT: Another way of putting it is, I don't need to know what is happening or what will happen, but I need to feel that something is happening. That there is a general sense of direction inherent.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 07:01:48 PM by FroHam Dawson »
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oldkid

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2011, 07:14:23 PM »
Sorry about dropping the ball on this.  I wasn't sure how much interest there really was and I suddenly became very busy.  But if there's interest, I'll set it up.  It won't take much work.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2011, 07:21:11 PM »
Is there interest? I write like a madman, so I always have stuff I can throw out there for people. If there are enough people who write regularly, I'd love for us to meet and discuss our works. If you're like me you have a terrible sense of knowing what your strengths and weaknesses as a write are.

smirnoff

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2011, 08:19:39 PM »
I thought that was a great first act, sam. I was sorry when there wasn't more to read.

Personally, I'm always looking for definitive answers, so the bread-crumb approach to exposition can drive me crazy. Long segments of nothing but exposition can be soooooo satisfying after a baffling scene of wondering wtf. I live for that scene in The Matrix: Reloaded with the Architect. Inception was good this way too. I get anxious and then frustrated if I'm left wondering to long, but that's me. Some people seem to handle ambiguity so well... I admire it. :)

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Writer's Club Discussion
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2011, 08:50:04 PM »
Glad you liked it. Hopefully, there will be about 50 more pages to read around the end of April. That's the plan anyway, as I'm taking another semester of screenwriting.

Part of me wants to just write the story in my head and then figure out what I need to explain either. But part of me knows the story won't make any sense if their isn't any explanation at all.