Thread: Parentheticals
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:08 AM   #2
finalact4's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,510
Default Re: Parentheticals

well said. you've covered it all.

i do think a mention regarding the use of (beat) here is an important inclusion. you mention it in the other thread.

i, too, find it (beat) lacking in creativity or intent, almost a waste of a line. i think it's because it feels so unnatural... against the grain of the narration that takes you out of the moment. at least for me.

i use wrylies often in a first draft. it can allow your dialogue to 'sing' without unnecessary interruption which can literally kill the cadence.

there can be a rhythm to dialogue that that is intentional. stopping that for a line of action can be detrimental to its effectiveness.

wrylies also assist in the pace at which the dialogue moves and assists by keeping the reader on what's important, the messaging hidden within the dialogue.

i find that once the first draft is complete and i'm working on improving dialogue i am often able to remove some wrylies because the dialogue and/or the scene context communicates it better after the rewrite.

the Jack Sparrow is a great example and a terrific line, right? the key is that the wrylie is absolutely something an actor can play. it's an example of writing the subtext that sometimes can be so nuanced that a reader might miss it altogether, and defeat the purpose of the line altogether.

i find that writers are often redundant with their dialogue and action lines. this is the the 'thing' to be wary of with wrylies, too. the general rule is: it's better to 'show' us a reveal or action visually first, then use dialogue as a last resort.

but what writers, imo, should watch out for is giving 'information' which is exposition. i finished David Mamet's Masterclass and i love what he said: dialogue isn't there to provide information, it's there because one character is trying to get something from the other. that statement on its own, i think, can go a long way to improve one's dialogue exchanges.
my opinions are just that-- my opinions.
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