Thread: Transmission

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    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    West Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egg Born Son View Post
    The words here were very specifically chosen. She speaks more formally than her husband. They are originally from the city but have been living in the country for a good twenty years. She has retained her graces more than he. This is true of my experience of many older country women, they have a sense of being proper (yet somewhat tolerant of male crassness), I think it is a throwback to British colonial spirit and is ensconced in the Country Women's Association. The younger generation does not possess this quality.

    I tried to convey these qualities through lines such as this rather than spelling it out, 'show don't tell'. Maybe I needed to be less subtle but it wasn't core to the story merely fleshing out my own understanding of the characters. I was also applying a 'rule' I read about leaving space for the actor to fill. Like most of the rules I'm not sure I'm applying it correctly. I could write a 4-5 page treatment on each character in this script. They exist for me and are amalgamated from people I have met.
    I was thinking about this bit of dialogue (and I read the script again). As it is, it sounds a little awkward and unrealistic. After hearing your explanation, it makes perfect sense why she would sound like this. But the reader needs this info and we aren't getting it.

    As I understand the "show don't tell" rule, is, you don't want to use dialogue to explain things or at least try to minimize it as much as possible, but rather show us through actions or maybe description. Think of these proper women visually and try and give us some visual information, how she carries herself, how she dresses, something along those lines. We can see this and then the formal dialogue would seem more natural coming from her.

    Regardless, this was my top script. Great job!
    the writer formerly known as "Conlan Forever"

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    Have an idea? Want to collaborate? Contact me.

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    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Perth, Australia
    Great advice, thanks. It ties in to what Alex was saying about the contents of the house (beyond the key props) that I didn't describe sufficiently. Part of the danger of using a real place, the reader needs to see what I see. The correct application of the rules has become a lot clearer to me from the feedback received. I expect it will still take at least 2 or 3 more fests worth of criticism to get it 90% right but I have a compass now, I know which direction to go. I feel stupid for keeping my writing to myself all these years.

    Thanks for your vote. Hope I can live up to this in the next fest!

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