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Old 07-08-2019, 06:42 PM   #11
GucciGhostXXX
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

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Originally Posted by Satriales View Post
One of the few friction points with my manager is when I will argue about punctuation in dialogue. I tell him I wrote it that way for a reason. There’s no comma necessary.

The clipped and dash ridden action lines he gets. Still working on this one.
I don't get that degree of hyper-micromanaging a script. No one's gonna agree with every choice. It's a massive document designed to be picked apart. My only question is "Is it good?"

Beyond that, I couldn't care less about how it's executed so long as it's an entertaining read. Meaning... COMMAS AREN'T FILMABLE!
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:11 AM   #12
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

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Beyond that, I couldn't care less about how it's executed so long as it's an entertaining read. Meaning... COMMAS AREN'T FILMABLE!
Commas in dialogue are absolutely filmable.
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:25 AM   #13
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

Us old farts still remember these kinds of punctuation examples:

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"A woman, without her man, is nothing."

"A woman: without her, man is nothing."
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

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Commas in dialogue are absolutely filmable.
Dialogue, true. I was thinking of narrative. In narrative it slows my read. Hate it. Personal preference.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

Over punctuated dialogue is just as tedious as overly granular formatting in action lines. It detracts from the story. ***Conversely*** (big ass conversely), randomly doing away with all commas as new dictum is just as bizarre and distracting.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

There is no writing trick that will save a **** story
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

True on both accounts. Which is why I do a comma read “does it read the same without it? If so, it goes.” Just my style I guess.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:09 AM   #18
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

I will say tho that I’ve had some producers tell me my style is a bit cryptic. And that it took them a minute to settle into my style. I tend to drop a lot of words.

Bad example:

“The car bleeds rubber and banks a hard right down the street.”

Becomes.

“Car bleeds rubber. Banks hard right down street.”
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

I wouldn't worry about commas in dialogue. Write the line the way you want it to be delivered by the actor.

Yes sir.

Yes, sir.

Yes! Sir!

Yes ... sir.

YES! SIR!

Back in elementary school, on the topic of commas, my teacher said, "When in doubt, leave them out." I've followed this advice ever since.

I wouldn't worry about punctuation in action lines. Screenwriting is a discipline that I place between poetry and prose fiction enabling the writer to use a mix of both techniques when needed to deliver the intended effect.

Even in my day job as a freelance writer, I screw around with punctuation all the time. And I usually get away with it -- much to the dismay of purists.

My personal pet peeve is the semicolon. Hate, hate, hate the semicolon. Visually, it's ugly. It doesn't have the cojones of a full-stop period yet attempts to mitigate the space between two independent clauses to avoid a conjunction -- I use the long dash instead.

Yes, purists, I know there are two types of long dashes. The en dash and the em dash -- each with its own rules of use.

In fact, I realized the sentence I was about to write after the sentence above is a good example of screwing around with punctuation.

1. With a period:

The vast majority of readers are ignorant to this fact. A writer can exploit their ignorance for their own purposes.

2. With a comma:

The vast majority of readers are ignorant to this fact, and a writer can exploit their ignorance for their own purposes.

3. Without the comma:

The vast majority of readers are ignorant to this fact and a writer can exploit their ignorance for their own purposes.

4. The despicable semicolon:

The vast majority of readers are ignorant to this fact; a writer can exploit their ignorance for their own purposes.

5. The long dash:

The vast majority of readers are ignorant to this fact -- a writer can exploit their ignorance for their own purposes.

I find it hard to believe executives in the film industry expect a writer to adhere the AP style.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: Getting rid of commas in dialogue

Agreed. Guess why: because I got straight "Fs" in english class. No lie.

I shouldn't be allowed to write (legally), but somehow I get away with it. I'm dumb. Yet...

Speaking of. I met a writer once who told me they had a 'letter of recommendation' from their college professor. I laughed.

If I can see it in my mind that's all I care about. Meaning other people's stuff.
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