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Old 05-11-2018, 09:37 AM   #39
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7,339
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

I think a problem for all writers is anticipating what will please or turn off "the reader." A lot of people on discussion boards, and gurus, professed to know what professional script readers want (and don't want) and the rules sprouted from there.

It can paralyze you. Cause you to second-guess every word you write. I fell for it, too, for a period of time.

Last year, my kid, a freshman in high school, was stressing out over her very picky English teacher who was handing back her essays loaded with red pen critiques because she wasn't strictly following various rules the teacher laid down.

As a result, my kid's writing went downhill with each successive essay and she was convinced, "I'm just a bad writer."

Toward the end of the year she was struggling with an essay assignment that required she read three or four articles (the teacher provided) then write an argumentative essay. So I told her to just talk to me about her thoughts and opinions -- her point of view on the topic.

She had several excellent insights and expressed herself in a fresh, creative way. I said, "Write that. Word for word." The kid said, "My teacher won't like it." I encouraged her to give it a shot, anyway. A test of sorts. And she did. She got an A-minus even though she had broken a couple of the teacher's rules.

After, I told her my theory -- that she had been paralyzed by the rules and trying to write what she believed the teacher would want instead of expressing her thoughts. So then the kid says: "I get it -- write like no one will read it." I thought that was the whole thing in a nutshell.

Now she's finishing up her sophomore year with an A in English and this year's teacher often uses her essays as an example of good writing.

I had to wonder how many kids were, and will be, stunted as writers because that freshman year teacher puts her "rules" above all else.
Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. “Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.”

Last edited by sc111 : 05-11-2018 at 02:58 PM.
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