Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-09-2018, 07:55 PM   #31
TigerFang
Member
 
TigerFang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: 39° 6' 11.2284'' N, 84° 30' 43.2576'' W
Posts: 1,114
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerFang View Post
I think any read is cleaner without “we see” and better, too.... As ever, Story trumps quirky writing every time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerFang View Post
The shuttlecock about screenwriting “rules” and “gurus” gets bandied about here too often. (meaning that I don't agree with “guru rules.”)

There's no debate. Find your “voice” and write what you will.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centos View Post
And yet we still have people parroting these nonsensical claptrap "rules" on a regular basis.
Not I. Read me again in a different light. I only don't like or use “We see.” Others, Like Jeff Lowell, have no issue with it. I would not condemn a screenplay for using it. I only say that I don't use it. In my estimation, a screenplay is written to be seen, so I see no value in using “We see” in my screenplays. It's not an adherence to a “rule,” it's a choice, my choice.

Once again, previous quotes from me: “There's no debate. Find your “voice” and write what you will.” “Story trumps quirky writing every time.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffLowell View Post
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.
Thank you (but does the last sentence need an edit?). All of them must have been great STORIES to advance that far. Those writers found their voice for those stories and executed them well, well enough to make the grade even with flashbacks (Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Godfather Part II anyone?), voiceover (Cannery Row, Goodfellas, Adaptation, Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange, The Big Lebowski, The Shawshank Redemption, All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, anyone?) and other so-called “mistakes” as touted by rule-mongers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Centos View Post
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.
Shuttlecock poppycock. Read me again in a different light. Oftentimes, I get the distinct impression that many of the boys here are just spoiling for a fight instead of merely airing their writing preferences. I notice that the ladies here always seem to take the high road.

Once again: “There's no debate. Find your “voice” and write what you will.” “Story trumps quirky writing every time.”
__________________
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” — Joan Didion

Last edited by TigerFang : 05-10-2018 at 05:37 AM.
TigerFang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2018, 09:56 PM   #32
Centos
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,933
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sc111 View Post
True. But merely ignoring the guru rules doesn't guarantee a script will have voice.
No. But trying to follow their "never do this" advice will damage your natural writing skills.
__________________
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.
Centos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2018, 12:33 PM   #33
TwoBrad Bradley
Member
 
TwoBrad Bradley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,018
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

The only rule I can think of regarding voice is “write what you know.”

The rest of the rules mentioned here deal with writing style.

Voice and writing style are not interchangeable.
__________________
"I am the story itself; its source, its voice, its music."
- Clive Barker, Galilee
TwoBrad Bradley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2018, 02:06 PM   #34
ComicBent
Member
 
ComicBent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,207
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Voice and writing style are not interchangeable.
You are correct.

Unfortunately, most conversations about writing, if continued long enough, will eventually end up by sinking to the bottom of the heap, where the notorious "we see" monster lurks, dripping with venomous slime.
__________________

"The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." — ComicBent.
ComicBent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2018, 03:25 PM   #35
JoeNYC
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,297
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComicBent View Post
Unfortunately, most conversations about writing, if continued long enough, will eventually end up by sinking to the bottom of the heap, where the notorious "we see" monster lurks, dripping with venomous slime.
I’m not one to tattletale –- but Jeff started it.

Sc111 says, “I think voice rises from the story’s theme (central dramatic question) and the writer’s POV and skill in executing that theme.” This is certainly true. A writer being passionate about a certain thematic topic will bring out his unique voice, but this is not the only way a writer’s voice weaves through a story.

Writers create i.e., worlds, characters, plot, theme, etc. What root sources do they rely on to create? From experiences in the writer’s own life, happy, sad, hurtful, loving, etc.; his/her environment, family and friends relationships, attitude, personality, POV, world view, etc.

A writer’s voice is the essence of who the man is.

Take the following comedy writers for example: Woody Allen, Billy Wider, Mel Brooks, Nora Ephron, John Hughes, Ethan and Joel Coen. All successful. Why? They told stories in their own, unique voice.

Last edited by JoeNYC : 05-11-2018 at 04:49 AM.
JoeNYC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2018, 05:25 PM   #36
Centos
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,933
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
I’m not one to tattletale –- but Jeff started it.
Not to put words into Jeff's mouth, but I think his point was that if we worry about the "never dos" we won't develop our own voice.

I, personally, don't consider "we see" or "ing" verbs as a "writing style." I just see the "never dos" as an artificial limitation, regardless of writing style. These "never dos" are kind of like telling a sculptor he can only use one hand when sculpting.
__________________
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.
Centos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2018, 07:43 PM   #37
JoeNYC
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,297
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Centos View Post
These "never dos" are kind of like telling a sculptor he can only use one hand when sculpting.
Back in the old wild west days of Done Deal, the NEVER DO’s were running rampant. Members were ranting to the beginner writers about so and so said NEVER DO this or that or you’ll look like an amateur, your script will be rejected, thrown in the trash, etc.

I’m ashamed to say I kept quiet because I didn’t like their use, especially overuse.

Jeff road into town and single handily killed the NEVER DO’s down.

Now, I strive to explain the function of something like a camera angle, etc., but I also suggest to use these elements for an important reason that’ll enhance the read, the story.

But, of course, every once in a while, I’ll see an upcoming writer/director who wants readers/crew to really SEE his vision and have all these technical elements all over his script, which I say to myself, “self, it’s okay. It’s his personal taste and style. Just judge his script on the story.”

Last edited by JoeNYC : 05-10-2018 at 08:12 PM.
JoeNYC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2018, 10:12 PM   #38
Centos
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,933
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
Now, I strive to explain the function of something like a camera angle, etc., but I also suggest to use these elements for an important reason that’ll enhance the read, the story.
The thing is, a lot of these "never dos" were dealing with real issues in beginning script writing. The problem is, somewhere along the line, these became etched in stone and any posted script snippet or short script was judged almost exclusively on how closely the writer adhered to the "never dos." That's what happened to me for a while. I was one of the "never do" zealots. And my writing turned into crap (or at least it got crappier). It completely lacked "personality" (something akin to voice). And then I realized that professional script writers didn't slavishly follow these rules. At first I thought, "will that's because they are someone or know someone in Hollywood, so they can get away with it." Then I started reading the scripts that unknowns used to break in – and these didn't follow the "never dos" either. And then – slowly but surely – my eyes opened (it took awhile, I was pretty deep in the "cult").
__________________
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.
Centos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2018, 09:37 AM   #39
sc111
Member
 
sc111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7,322
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

I think a problem for all writers is anticipating what will please or turn off "the reader." A lot of people on discussion boards, and gurus, professed to know what professional script readers want (and don't want) and the rules sprouted from there.

It can paralyze you. Cause you to second-guess every word you write. I fell for it, too, for a period of time.

Last year, my kid, a freshman in high school, was stressing out over her very picky English teacher who was handing back her essays loaded with red pen critiques because she wasn't strictly following various rules the teacher laid down.

As a result, my kid's writing went downhill with each successive essay and she was convinced, "I'm just a bad writer."

Toward the end of the year she was struggling with an essay assignment that required she read three or four articles (the teacher provided) then write an argumentative essay. So I told her to just talk to me about her thoughts and opinions -- her point of view on the topic.

She had several excellent insights and expressed herself in a fresh, creative way. I said, "Write that. Word for word." The kid said, "My teacher won't like it." I encouraged her to give it a shot, anyway. A test of sorts. And she did. She got an A-minus even though she had broken a couple of the teacher's rules.

After, I told her my theory -- that she had been paralyzed by the rules and trying to write what she believed the teacher would want instead of expressing her thoughts. So then the kid says: "I get it -- write like no one will read it." I thought that was the whole thing in a nutshell.

Now she's finishing up her sophomore year with an A in English and this year's teacher often uses her essays as an example of good writing.

I had to wonder how many kids were, and will be, stunted as writers because that freshman year teacher puts her "rules" above all else.
__________________
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.”

Last edited by sc111 : 05-11-2018 at 02:58 PM.
sc111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2018, 10:05 AM   #40
Joaneasley
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,442
Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Very nice, sciii
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 09:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker