Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > About the Craft > Basics
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-11-2018, 07:04 PM   #51
finalact4
Member
 
finalact4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,503
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Voice: the attitude by which a writer tells a story

How do you develop it: you write and read. write and read. write and read.

When does it begin to develop: when you know inherently there are no rules. when you write purely as yourself, without fear of what anyone else thinks, or says, or corrects, or critiques. when you can listen to advice without defending your choices, when you can accept opinions with an open mind whether it works for you or not

When do you find your voice: when you feel yourself in the words on the page. when you don't give two shits about whether it breaks a rule. when no matter what advice you receive you know how best to write what you want the reader to feel when they read your words.

How do you hone it: when you become a fearless writer.

How do you know you have it: when people react to your writing, when they feel the emotion and energy and power of your words fueled by your personality, your attitudes, your convictions, your values, your insights, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your rage, your compassion, your hate, your respect, your politics, your biases.

Voice: is the very cessence of you as human being, and it is unique unto each of us.

FA4
two cents. worth about .39 pesos
__________________
my opinions are just that-- my opinions.

www.LisaMolusis.com
finalact4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2018, 07:28 PM   #52
StoryWriter
Member
 
StoryWriter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,132
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoBrad Bradley View Post
How do you develop your voice?
Tell stories. I mean TELL stories. Lots and lots of them, to anyone who will listen. Spontaneous, on-the-fly, ad-lib, person-to-person or person-to-group. Did you go out and eat lunch today? Did you come back? Are there people there? Then you've got a story and an audience. Are you married? Were you away from your wife for the day? You've got stories to tell her.

Kids love stories. They're a great audience. Make their eyes light up, give them a new story every night. It's easy, when they're little. I liked to do serialized stories with a cliffhanger, every night. If you forget where you were, they'll remember. My 35 year-old son thinks I should write the stories, he still remembers when he was six.

I was going down the freeway with another son (over 30), recently, when a guy tried to cut me off. Right away the other driver and I were having a conversation (I mean I was filling in for him but...). In about five minutes his whole life was mapped out -- he was slow, dimwitted an idiot, fat and divorced -- kind of whiny when he talked, with a Texas accent. A real loser at work. I knew "all of this" even though his car was long gone.

Then my son started laughing and said: "Dad, you never get bored, do you?"

As a matter of fact -- no I don't -- because I like to tell stories. Even when I'm by myself I tell and invent stories. I have characters living in my head and they can go on the page at moments notice. Some are older than my kids.

I'm about 62, I've been doing this since I was five or six. I've also been writing since then -- so there's no cure. I like to tell stories. One of these days I might even get good at it. (Maybe "good" is too ambitious.)

Call me an idiot, but I have a low threshold of tolerance for people who don't have a story to tell and want to be a screenwriter. (This isn't personal to you TwoBrad) but in general. Through the years on screenwriting forums newbies would ask: "Does anybody have an idea for a screenplay?" Ideas are everywhere -- I mean literally, freaking everywhere -- you just have to reach out and grab one. (The "trick" is snagging a good one.)

So I'd ask them: "Do you tell people stories?" Almost always the answer was: "No."

"No? Then why in the hell do you want to be a screenwriter?" I mean really -- isn't that kind of like saying I want to be a professional baseball player, but I've never picked up a bat or glove in my life?

Back on topic. "How do you develop your voice?"

Personally, I think if you love to tell stories -- you already have one.

Just stop hiding it.
__________________
"I just couldn't live in a world without me."

Last edited by StoryWriter : 05-11-2018 at 08:29 PM.
StoryWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2018, 07:52 PM   #53
finalact4
Member
 
finalact4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,503
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoryWriter View Post

Just stop hiding it.
I love everything you've said, but this, most of all has the wisdom the OP, and any other writer trying to identify their voice needs.
__________________
my opinions are just that-- my opinions.

www.LisaMolusis.com
finalact4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 05:03 PM   #54
Centos
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,954
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffLowell View Post
If you saw someone almost get hit by a car and were telling someone about it, you wouldn't say "A mother pushing a stroller entered an intersection. A car approached. The mother pulled back the stroller so neither she nor the baby was hit." And yet that's the "style" that so many people push for screenwriting.
Well, not quite. They wouldn't use the "ing" verb and (for some anyhow) conjunctions like "and" or "so" would also be verbotten – as well as pronouns. It would probably read more like this ...

Quote:
The mother pushes the stroller. The mother enters the intersection. A car approaches. The mother pulls the stroller back. The car does not hit the mother. The car does not hit the baby.
(Well, maybe they would write, "the car does not hit the mother or the baby.")

I've read so many scripts about like this. And I know it's because they want to use the "present tense" because of its "active" verbs.

Sometimes for emphasis, they'll separate each sentence into its own paragraph. Read ten pages of that without ripping your hair out. I dare you.
__________________
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.
Centos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 05:11 PM   #55
Centos
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,954
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
Voice: the attitude by which a writer tells a story

How do you develop it: you write and read. write and read. write and read.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoryWriter View Post
Tell stories. I mean TELL stories. Lots and lots of them, to anyone who will listen. Spontaneous, on-the-fly, ad-lib, person-to-person or person-to-group. Did you go out and eat lunch today? Did you come back? Are there people there? Then you've got a story and an audience. Are you married? Were you away from your wife for the day? You've got stories to tell her.

...

Back on topic. "How do you develop your voice?"

Personally, I think if you love to tell stories -- you already have one.

Just stop hiding it.
Nothing much to add here. Except to answer the original question. Voice is very important in screenwriting (if you want someone to read your script).
__________________
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.
Centos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2018, 07:40 AM   #56
JoeNYC
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,345
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Centos View Post
Sometimes for emphasis, they'll separate each sentence into its own paragraph. Read ten pages of that without ripping your hair out. I dare you.
This style isn't because what's on a Guru's DO NOT list. I assume it's because the focus of the action changed. If not, then it's because of a writer's inexperienced.

Centos, you’re assuming every writer is going to follow a Guru’s list of DO NOTs slavishly and not understand it’s to be used as a guideline, or for those who do abide by it slavishly they won’t be able to evolve by eventually finding their true voice, which contains the style aspect of writing, among other elements.

I remember in the old days when some new writers read William Goldman scripts, they saw that he used a CUT TO between every scene heading, so they thought that was how a writer was suppose to present their story and did the same.

It’s natural for some new writers to copy a successful professional writer’s style and voice. They are unsure, not confident about themselves, so they copy as a crutch. If a new writer has talent, patience and persistence, they’ll eventually evolve to where they’ll find their true voice and have a shot at being a professional writer, or at the very least to be proud and satisfied about their accomplishment in writing stories that they love.

Centos, what you talk about that’s on a Guru’s DO NOT list is minutia. To use or not according to a writer’s personal taste and style. Will the use or not use get a script sold or rejected, no. It’s the concept and execution of the major elements that will achieve that outcome. Will their use or not use hurt a writer’s voice. For those writers who overuse these minutia elements, in my opinion, they already hurt their voice. For those who use the DO NOTs in a effective and purposeful way, yes. Strictly following the DO NOT list will hurt their true voice.

My problem with you, Centos, is that you have a narrow-minded opinion whenever the discussion turns to a DO NOT list, which is if a writer follows it, they’re writing will be ugly, mangled, etc., writing. This is not true. I demonstrated this fact with my previous post with examples “A” and “B.”

Now, you say following a Guru’s DO NOT list the writing will be stiff and boring. I didn’t follow a Guru’s DO NOT list, but it did naturally evolve to mostly what a Guru’s primary point was about that DO NOT list: Write in present tense. My writing mostly follows what’s on the Guru’s list, though there are exceptions, where it’ll be effective for me to use present progressive tense form, technical jargon, etc. and I don’t believe my writing is pedestrian because of it. I may be wrong.

I’m going to post the opening page of a script I’m presently working on and you tell me if by following what’s on a Guru’s DO NOT list, did it hurt my writing.

Code:
SCROLL OVER BLACK SCREEN: A miscalculation made by the United States of America escalated into Thermonuclear World War III. After all sides were so devastated that they could no longer wage war, billions of the world’s population were killed from direct hits, injuries, radiation, disease, and starvation... modern civilization was blasted back hundreds of years. FADE IN: MAISY FINNEGAN (5), clothed in animal skins, walks along blueberry bushes with a weaved basket and picks berries. SUPER: “25 YEARS LATER. RURAL SOUTH CAROLINA. 65 MILES INLAND FROM THE ATLANTIC OCEAN.” Maisy spots a cottontail rabbit hoping along. The rabbit stops and nibbles on grass. Maisy crouches and stares. The rabbit pops its head up and twitches its nose, smelling scents in the air. Maisy’s eyes light up and she smiles. A hissing sound whizzes by Maisy’s head. An arrow strikes the rabbit in the heart. The rabbit flops over, dead. Maisy’s face goes blank. No expression of shock or fear. Its an expression of accustomed. Like she knows this is the way of life. EMILY FINNEGAN (24), quiver of arrows strapped to her back and clutching a bow, squats down beside Maisy. EMILY He didn’t suffer, Maisy. Emily rises and collects her kill.

Last edited by JoeNYC : 05-13-2018 at 07:58 AM.
JoeNYC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2018, 09:11 AM   #57
JeffLowell
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,052
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
The mother pushes the stroller. The mother enters the intersection. A car approaches. The mother pulls the stroller back. The car does not hit the mother. The car does not hit the baby.
Perfect.
JeffLowell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2018, 09:47 AM   #58
catcon
Member
 
catcon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, Canada
Posts: 1,891
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

How about some Sunday morning jollies?

Quote:
The mother pushes the stroller. The mother enters the intersection. A car approaches. The mother pulls the stroller back. The car does not hit the mother. The car does not hit the baby.
Is this supposed to be a single paragraph of description? Well, you know me as the guy who can't stand widows/orphans on paragraphs, and in my script template this paragraph is 4 lines long:

The mother pushes the stroller. The mother enters the
intersection. A car approaches. The mother pulls the
stroller back. The car does not hit the mother. The car does
not hit the baby.

Worse, if you put the two spaces after periods (the font here seems to drop them), the "does" at the end of line 3 moves to line 4. I'd change the first line:

The mother pushes the stroller into the intersection. A car
approaches. The mother pulls the stroller back. The car
does not hit the mother. The car does not hit the baby.


Voila. We're down to 3 lines.

Do that 6 times per page, that's 1" extra space per page, possibly saving 10 pages over a 110 page script, taking into consideration page endings. I provide once again the screen snap of one of my scripts so you see how this sort of editing can end up looking (ie. almost full justified).

http://www.catconsulting.ca/stevegar...an_editing.jpg

Incidentally, of course this paragraph can use a bit of work regardless of length. Without changing the original intention too much, maybe:

The mother pushes a stroller into the path of an approaching
car, but pulls it back just in time and the car roars past.


It's a bit more prose-y, but we're down to two lines! Anybody do it in one?
catcon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2018, 11:10 AM   #59
sc111
Member
 
sc111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7,339
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

I'll play.

A green 1965 Mustang races toward a young mother with a baby stroller crossing the intersection. She pulls back as the car roars by, inches away. The baby giggles.
__________________
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.”
sc111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2018, 11:31 AM   #60
Joaneasley
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,443
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Some have stories on the tip of their tongue. Some do stand-up or improvise stories with no trepidation. Some of us are less outgoing and hone our stories in toner or ink. We're all still storytellers.
Joaneasley is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker