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Old 03-30-2015, 12:24 AM   #1
wsaunders
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Default He notices...

So I've been reading through my script trying to spruce up action descriptions, and I noticed that i use the phrase, "He/She/ Character Name notices 'something". For instance:

Quote:
Aidan stops for a moment to drink in the sunlight. He notices his skin has reddened with sunburn.
Would it be acceptable to just write:

Quote:
Aidan stops for a moment to drink in the sunlight. His skin has reddened with sunburn.
Is it implied by writing it that the character can see it?
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:56 AM   #2
14001
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Default Re: He notices...

I don't think it's implied.
On the second line I understand his skin is red with sunburn and he may not have noticed.
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:20 AM   #3
Bairn_Writer
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Default Re: He notices...

Yeah I read these as very different. In the second one the viewer will see him with the sunburn he may or may not know, we woudln't see him notice. In the first one he'll specifically be noticing the sunburn.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:35 AM   #4
BenJacoby
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Default Re: He notices...

I tend to overuse "he notices" and "he sees" a lot in my first drafts, and eventually conclude most of them are not necessary. More effective I think is showing the reaction to what the character sees, and the subsequent action it inspires.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:40 AM   #5
RogerOThornhill
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Default Re: He notices...

some alternates can be used to keep it from getting repetitive...

His eyes note...

or

Aidan stops for a moment to drink in the sunlight noticing that his skin has reddened with sunburn

or

a slight grimace as he notices his skin has reddened with sunburn
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:43 PM   #6
wsaunders
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Default Re: He notices...

Cool thanks guys!

Quote:
some alternates can be used to keep it from getting repetitive...
Yeah i did a sweep for the words "walks..." and "looks", going to go through for "notices" now.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:51 PM   #7
evan_g
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Default Re: He notices...

Try other words to help describe the action.

For example, instead of "walks", maybe use: strides, saunters, crosses the room, approaches, strolls, creeps, steps forward, ambles, wanders, dawdles, potters.
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:34 PM   #8
wsaunders
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Default Re: He notices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by evan_g View Post
Try other words to help describe the action.

For example, instead of "walks", maybe use: strides, saunters, crosses the room, approaches, strolls, creeps, steps forward, ambles, wanders, dawdles, potters.
I did hence my above statement. Somehelpful references for me:

http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/115-words-for-walks

http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/90-words-for-looks
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:16 PM   #9
TheKeenGuy
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Default Re: He notices...

When "he notices" is going a step further than "he sees" to indicate what conclusion the character is drawing, be careful that the conclusion actually is obvious.

"He notices his skin has reddened with sunburn" might be problematic, because you have a character looked at a hand that happens to be sunburned among its other qualities. Only through contextualization do we understand that the redness is the revelation, perhaps because we saw it reddening in a previous shot. or the next shot is him testing the surprisingly-sensitive sunburned skin by poking it with a finger from his other, pale hand.
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:22 PM   #10
wsaunders
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Default Re: He notices...

I should say that the next thing in the script is dialogue of him remarking on it.
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