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Old 05-09-2018, 12:20 AM   #21
Centos
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by TigerFang View Post
The shuttlecock about screenwriting “rules” and “gurus” gets bandied about here too often.
And yet we still have people parroting these nonsensical claptrap "rules" on a regular basis.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:15 AM   #22
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by Centos View Post
And yet we still have people parroting these nonsensical claptrap "rules" on a regular basis.
Centos, you keep sprouting about RULES!

I never said there was a rule about using these basic, minutia elements that I mentioned and for the Gurus that do sprout these as rules, I mentioned they're wrong. I only suggested to use them with effectiveness and purpose.

What's wrong with that advice?

The industry doesn't care about how many "we sees," "to be" verbs, etc. that there are in a script. The major studios' main concern is story and marketability.

I just thought since this was a site to gain knowledge on the craft of screenwriting to make a suggestion on the use of implying these minor elements, which anyone is free to use or ignore my advice.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:26 AM   #23
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

I think we're off on a tangent about "we see" and guru rules because it's easier to debate than another fact Jeff stated:

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I thought of a possibly good illustration of voice, which seems like such a slippery thing to nail down. ...
Voice is indeed a slippery thing to nail down. I think voice rises from the story's theme (central dramatic question) and the writer's POV and skill in executing that theme.

Verbal gymnastics in action lines. Snappy dialogue. Even plot and character. Without theme informing those choices, and a writer's distinct point of view in exploring the theme, the story lacks voice and ends up generic.

Alas, it's far easier to discuss rules than any of the above.
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:32 AM   #24
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

I trot this out every once in awhile. It's time again.

I was a final round reader for Austin a few times. During one of these debates, I pulled up the twelve scripts I was sent. They were all by amateur writers. These scripts had all made it through multiple rounds of readers to the finals of one of the most prestigious competitions.

So not only did the scripts advance to me - disproving the "readers use violations of 'rules' to toss scripts" argument, but it disproves the "only pros can do it" argument.

And before someone says it: if you want to adhere to a bunch of made up rules, have fun. But don't believe it if someone says you shouldn't.

Quote:
I'm going to quickly go through the scripts until I find something that violates a phony rule that bogus experts push:

#1 - First page, I've got a POV shot, a CLOSE ON, a PAN LEFT and two INSERTs.

#2 - First page, INSERT shot.

#3 - First few pages, AC/DC and Queen song called out by name.

#4 - First page, voice over and flashback.

#5 - Ten pages in, don't see any.

#6 - First page, unfilmable, internal (but really good) description to set up character. Page 4, we've got a CLOSE IN and a WE SEE.

#7 - Opens with multiple pages of flashback voice over.

#8 - First page, Ramones song.

#9 - First page, "WE SLOWLY TRACK"

#10 - Don't see any.

#11 - First scene, Mariah Carey song playing and sung by characters.

#12 - Page zero - three quotes! First page, CLOSE ON.
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:12 PM   #25
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
Centos, you keep sprouting about RULES!

I never said there was a rule about using these basic, minutia elements that I mentioned and for the Gurus that do sprout these as rules, I mentioned they're wrong. I only suggested to use them with effectiveness and purpose.

What's wrong with that advice?
I wasn't responding to your post. I was responding to a single line in TigerFang's post. I didn't see anything objectionable in what you wrote.
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:14 PM   #26
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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I think we're off on a tangent about "we see" and guru rules because it's easier to debate than another fact Jeff stated:
That's because these rules tend to stymie the development of a writer's voice. If people follow these "rules" closely, their writing turns into soulless mush.
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:56 PM   #27
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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I think any read is cleaner without “we see” and better, too. Just as in sports, there are also certain boundaries for screenwriting. If a ball goes out of bounds in sports, there's a form of penalty for it. If you stray too far outside the imaginary bounds of screenwriting, there's probably going to be some form of penalty for that, too.
No. No. No. No. No.

This is nonsense that is not founded in reality. At all.
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:58 PM   #28
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Each story is written differently. The story dictates the style/voice.
The writer dictates the style/voice. Walter Hill, Shane Black et al write the same regardless of the material they're working on.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:03 PM   #29
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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We see the stable door open to reveal the Headless Horseman. (We are told we must see that in our mind's eye.)

The stable door opens to reveal the Headless Horseman. (We see that in our mind's eye.)

Use of “We see” in a story by the writer, their subconscious, and their ego interjects a momentary thought of the writer for the reader. The conscientious writer only wants the reader to be thoroughly caught up in the story.

Less is more. Less (reminders of the writer) is more (effective).
No. No. No. No. No.

1) Don't speak for what is interjected in the minds of other people.

2) The examples you cited are not true examples. No half-decent writer would use 'we see' in the ways you have illustrated.

3) 'We see', like any other aspect that you and the gurus harp on about, are vaid and indeed perfect when used correctly.

Your examples are poor uses of 'we see' - which can be applied to anything, even the word 'and': 'and then Jake runs down the hall and sees a cop heading his way and ducks into an alcove and whips out his phone and sends a text message to his mum and then....'

4) Pros like Red, Black, Hill, Kaufman, Diablo drip their voice from every line. You are constantly cognisant that you're reading their work. And it is glorious. It's what elevates a good writer from the surrounding dross. Your examples are annoying to readers because they are clumsy, unnecessary, talentless, voiceless and styleless. It has nothing to do with the use of 'we see' and 'ing' and everything to do with poor writing skill.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:16 PM   #30
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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That's because these rules tend to stymie the development of a writer's voice. If people follow these "rules" closely, their writing turns into soulless mush.
True. But merely ignoring the guru rules doesn't guarantee a script will have voice.
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