Apr

18

Posted by : E.v.R. | On : April 18, 2008

There’s this thing that movies and TV do from time to time. Sometimes it’s a trick used across sequels. They’ll have characters trade places and sometimes lines. Depending on how it’s done, I tend to like it.

In The Bourne Identity, when Bourne shoots the assassin played by Clive Owen, as the assassin is dying he says to Bourne, “Look at what they make you give.”

In the third movie, The Bourne Ultimatum, as Bourne finally discovers the truth of his identity and is forced into a showdown, he says, “Look at what they make you give.” I thought it was clever that they had Bourne come full circle and echo Clive Owen’s line from the first movie.

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Apr

16

Posted by : E.v.R. | On : April 16, 2008

I’ve been saying my lines out loud as I type them. It helps a lot, like instant proofreading. More than that, it insures that the reader will believe a real person is talking. Dialogue I hate the most is when I’m watching a movie or a TV show and the character delivers some clumsy line. I wonder, “Who talks like that?” The answer is nobody. But I’m sure the writer thought it looked okay on paper.

It’s not about how the words look on paper. It’s about how they sound out loud. More so for a screenplay, but even for a novel. A lot of people mouth words as they read, or they hear them in their head as they track the lines across the page. Something that doesn’t work when you say it becomes instantly obvious.

An example peeve of mine is two characters who already know each other well addressing each other by first name with everything they say. “Hey Jack, hand me that screwdriver.” And then, “Thanks Jack.” or “Jack, later do you want to grab a beer?” Think about it. Do you use a friend’s name a lot when you’re around them? That’s the kind of thing that probably seems correct on paper but sounds wrong when you say it out loud.

The only downside to saying dialogue out loud as you type it is that you may want to refrain from writing in coffee shops. The staff and other customers might think you’re crazy. :)

I don’t have to worry about mumbling in front of my wife. She already knows I’m crazy.

Jun

18

Posted by : E.v.R. | On : June 18, 2007

“He knew that Sarah would never go for a trip to Tuscon. In all his time spent with her, Matthew had never once heard her say something good about the town. In thinking about the situation, he decided to try and avoid the topic altogether because her ex-boyfriend Larry lived there. He knew he was better off not mentioning Tuscon or Larry, at risk of starting a fight with her.

It all happened five years ago, when Sarah lived with Larry in Tuscon. At first things had been great. Larry and Sarah had the trappings of the happy kind of ideal life everyone dreams about. White picket fence, two cars and a baby on the way.

That was until Larry came home covered in blood one night. He’d been moonlighting as a criminal, and while on the job his partner got shot. What Sarah didn’t know is that Matthew was the partner. It was his blood on Larry that night. It was his blood that had dragged Sarah across time and space, and gotten her involved in the criminal underworld. She couldn’t have known it at that time, but it was all Matthew’s fault.”

He knew or she knew is a sure sign of rambling off into character headspace. It is telling, not showing. I don’t want to know why Matthew knows not to bring up a certain topic with Sarah. I want to witness him having a conversation with Sarah, and dancing around the subject Pinteresque style.

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