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Old 05-25-2018, 12:42 AM   #91
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Confidence allows us to experiment with different voices, to expand our natural voice, to discover different ways to use our voice,
I don't think a confident and competent writer has "different voices" -- different writing styles but not different voices.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:17 AM   #92
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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[b]TigerFang, I am not sure what you mean by calling voice “texture” or “the omniscient, omnipresent yet unseen foremost character of any screenplay…”

...
You could say that voice gives your story a distinct flavor, if that makes sense. No two stories have the same ingredients. No two stories by two different writers will have the same effect on readers, just as no two dishes by two different cheft's will have the same effect on pallets. Is that because of the chefts’ different voices? Or is that because tasters have different pallets?

Your Voice is what arouses your readers feelings. Your writer’s voice arouses feelings, just as a singer’s voice arouses feelings.

As we develop our voices, I think we should be concerned with both the ingredients of voice and the affect of our voice.


How do we determine the affect of our voice?

For my purposes, the “Texture” of any written piece is a reflection of the writer, their tastes in words, word choice, their vocabulary, how they present themselves on the page (their “voice”), much in the manner that the “voice” of an author in a story such as Eudora Welty's “Why I Live at the P.O.” reads on the page (and even sounds like in life).

The “the omniscient, omnipresent yet unseen foremost character of any screenplay…” is that writer's “voice,” the person telling the story to the reader (preferably, in my opinion, the writer not calling attention to themselves in any of a variety of ways).

Last edited by TigerFang : 05-25-2018 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:52 AM   #93
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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For my purposes, the “Texture” of any written piece is a reflection of the writer, their tastes in words, word choice, their vocabulary, how they present themselves on the page (their “voice”), much in the manner that the “voice” of an author in a story such as Eudora Welty's “Why I Live at the P.O.” reads on the page (and even sounds like in life).

The “the omniscient, omnipresent yet unseen foremost character of any screenplay…” is that writer's “voice,” the person telling the story to the reader (preferably, in my opinion, the writer not calling attention to themselves in any of a variety of ways).

I think I understand you. Yes, a screenplay can have more than one voice.

For example, a character within the story who narrates the story can have one voice while the screenwriter who writes the screenplay may have an entirely different voice.

The use of a character/narrator and even other characters with their own strong voices becomes part of the screenwriter's voice.


Tarantino gives his characters strong voices which contribute to the voice of his screenplays.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:42 PM   #94
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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I think I understand you. Yes, a screenplay can have more than one voice.
Here's some helpful reading:

Fundamentals of Good Writing, by Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, Copyright 1949, 1950, by Harcourt Brace and Company, Inc.

In particular, read Chapter 5, “Description.” Be sure to read from page 211, “Texture: Selection In Description.”

And also read Chapter 6 “Narration.”

This book is available on the ABE Books website for your writer's library of go-to books.

My copy of Fundamentals of Good Writing did not cost as much as this linked copy, but its lessons have been invaluable.

Last edited by TigerFang : 05-27-2018 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:39 PM   #95
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Thanks for the links, TigerFang. Very interesting. But $500 to $900 a copy. Geeze.

I just put a hold on a copy to be sent to my branch of the L.A. library. Meanwhile anybody can read the book from one of your links.


You must have a collectors copy. Good Investment in more ways than one.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:43 PM   #96
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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I think I understand you. Yes, a screenplay can have more than one voice.
Back to the topic of “How important is ‘voice’ in screenwriting?”

Don't worry about having a screenwriter “voice.” You already have one. Maybe it needs practice or polish, but write a lot of screenplays and you will begin to notice your unique “voice.”

Go for subtext in your dialogue, go for imagery and visual symbolism is your scene settings. Execute these elements and others like them and they will hone your voice as a screenwriter. Carry on.

Last edited by TigerFang : 05-26-2018 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:48 PM   #97
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by TigerFang View Post
Here's some helpful reading:

“Fundamentals of Good Writing,” by Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, Copyright 1949, 1950, by Harcourt Brace and Company, Inc.

In particular, read Chapter 5, “Description.” Be sure to read from page 211, “Texture: Selection In Description.”

And also read Chapter 6 “Narration.”

This book is available on the ABE Books website for your writer's library of go-to books.

My copy of “Fundamentals of Good Writing” did not cost as much as this linked copy, but its lessons have been invaluable.
Thanks for the heads up TigerFang. This book is also in the public domain, free to download at archive.org. It can be downloaded as .txt, .epub, kindle, .pdf and other files.

Fundamentals Of Good Writing
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:07 PM   #98
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

The reason I buy the books is that I never get an error message when I open one. Yours is a much nicer link than my PDF link. Thank you!
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:47 AM   #99
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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I didn't find it boring.
Thanks, dpaterso, for stepping up to demonstrate to writers who receive feedback on their work that these opinions are coming from readers’ subjective perspective/evaluation. This doesn’t mean what they say is a definitive of what’s right and wrong. It merely means it’s this one person’s opinion of what “he” believes is right or wrong.

Subjective means: “interpretation based on personal feeling, emotion, aesthetics; one’s own moods, desires, attitudes, etc.” As a writer, one must take in and digest all the feedback and use what he believes will make his story stronger and ignore the rest.

StoryWriter, my thanks for the feedback was sincere.

Even though I ignored your rewrite, you gave me a couple of opinions on my opening page that I felt helped. For one example, you hit me on my Super: “…Rural South Carolina. 65 Miles Inland from the Atlantic Coast.” I was always weary about this last part of the super. There was a reason why I wanted the distance from the Atlantic Ocean stated, but since you made me “really” look at it, I’ve come to the belief it’s redundant and unnecessary overwriting. I’ve deleted “65 Miles Inland…” and I’m just going to have “Rural” get across that we’re inland.

I’ve read a few pages of the book TigerFang posted, “Fundamentals of Good writing,” and the authors articulated well on some of the things that other books stress about the description elements, such as, write with all the senses in mind and not just sight, write vividly by using strong nouns, verbs and adverbs, the weaknesses of adjectives, etc. The one thing to keep in mind about this book is that it’s geared toward the writing of Novels.

In one excerpt to demonstrate good writing the authors used an example from William Faulkner’s “Sanctuary” (The set up is a character, Horace, is seated on a train and another character sits down beside him.):

“He leaned across Horace and peered out the window at a small dingy station with its cryptic bulletin board chalked over, an express truck bearing a wire chicken coop containing two forlorn fowls, three or four men in overalls gone restfully against the wall, chewing.”

This is novelistic writing. A screenwriter may write like this to set up the world/setting where his story takes place, but in “Sanctuary” this description takes place in Chapter 19, in about the middle of the story where the train leaves the station – and it’s like this all through the novel:

“The waiting room was lit by a single weak bulb. It was empty save for a man in overalls asleep on the bench, his head on his folded coat, snoring, and a woman in a calico dress in a ding shawl and a new hat trimmed with rigid and moribund flower set square and awkward on her head. Her head was bent, she may have been asleep; her hands crossed on the paper-wrapped parcel upon her lap, a straw suitcase at her feet. It was then that Horace found that he had forgot his pipe.”

In the middle of a screenplay, this information from the above two examples from “Sanctuary,” like giving detailed descriptions of the extras, is not necessary information, thus it’s overwriting making for a tedious read.

Jeff Lowell once said, “The industry calls action/description the black stuff between the dialogue.”

This doesn’t mean it’s okay to be lazy in the area of action/description and write boring, unemotional action/description.

Jeff also says, “Great storytelling engages the reader.”

No one can argue with this, but remember, you’re a screenwriter writing a 110 page script and not a novelist writing a 500 page novel.

I’m not saying not to write using a novelistic flare here and there, vivid adverbs, descriptive adjectives used effectively, colorful nouns and verbs to excite and engage the reader, transitions and camera directions to help the reader clearly see and understand a specific visual, time/location change, or whatever, etc.

Just to make sure every word choice is used purposely and with necessity in order to enhance the read and story.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:09 PM   #100
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Jeff Lowell once said, “The industry calls action/description the black stuff between the dialogue.”
Where? When? In what context?
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