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Old 06-24-2018, 09:10 AM   #131
JeffLowell
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by jonpiper View Post
In a screenplay, is the voice of the writer, as the OP has described voice, as important as the story?
In selling an individual script, no. In getting hired as a writer on other projects, absolutely.
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:29 PM   #132
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Joan, Centos, and Jeff, thanks for your answers.

I don't mean to be obnoxious, but I wonder if Jeff, or anyone, could elaborate on why voice is as important as story if your goal is to be hired as a writer on another project and not as important as story if your goal is to sell a particular script.
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Old 06-27-2018, 07:44 PM   #133
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by jonpiper View Post
Joan, Centos, and Jeff, thanks for your answers.

I don't mean to be obnoxious, but I wonder if Jeff, or anyone, could elaborate on why voice is as important as story if your goal is to be hired as a writer on another project and not as important as story if your goal is to sell a particular script.
Not being a Joan, Centos or a Jeff, I'll put on my "logic" hat here and try an answer: It's because in being a hired writer you have to emulate the existing voice of the show - you have lots of long-time fans to satisfy - while at the same time you have to come up with a great story - though I'd question it being a lesser priority.
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Old 06-27-2018, 09:32 PM   #134
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by jonpiper View Post
I don't mean to be obnoxious, but I wonder if Jeff, or anyone, could elaborate on why voice is as important as story if your goal is to be hired as a writer on another project and not as important as story if your goal is to sell a particular script.
Sometimes a script will have a great premise or plot turns or set pieces or whatever - something that makes a studio think there's a film there - but the execution isn't great. Those scripts can be bought and put into development - and if the execution was deemed to be the problem, other writers will often rewrite it.

So that can make for a sale.

Sometimes a script isn't deemed to be commercial - it's too dark or narrow in appeal or whatever - but readers love the writing. Those scripts can - and often do - get those writers work.

Sometimes a script is both, and then life is good.

FWIW, my feature career started with a dark industry comedy that no one wanted to make, but got me a lot of work on other more commercial projects.
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:53 PM   #135
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by jonpiper View Post
Joan, Centos, and Jeff, thanks for your answers.

I don't mean to be obnoxious, but I wonder if Jeff, or anyone, could elaborate on why voice is as important as story if your goal is to be hired as a writer on another project and not as important as story if your goal is to sell a particular script.
The question I answered "no" to was ... In a screenplay, is the voice of the writer, as the OP has described voice, as important as the story?

It doesn't matter how entertaining the writing is, or how strong the writer's voice, if the story is poor (or simply not what they're looking for) you're not going to sell it. So the story is more important for that particular script. But Jeff Lowell made the point that voice is important for finding work in the business. This point has been made by other pros as well. Your original spec script hardly ever gets bought or made into a movie but, if the writing is good enough, it can result in assignments. So your original script can turn into your resume.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:26 AM   #136
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

I thought it might be interesting to demonstrate to new writers the process of digesting/weighing and implementing feedback notes, though be it on a minor scale (one page). Also, I’d like to make a point to all writers about the mantra: “Story is king!”

In this thread, StoryWriter (post 80) was kind enough to take the time and give me his opinion on my opening page of a script I’m currently working on and because of his input, I found five issues that I believed warranted a rewrite to enhance the read of the page.

Overall, StoryWriter’s impression of the opening page was: “…this is kind of stiff and boring.”

I ignored “boring” as it being subjective. When I send the screenplay out for feedback and if the majority of readers find that the opening page with the introduction of the protagonist was boring, then I could no longer ignore that opinion.

First note: The writing on the opening page was “stiff.”

I believe the opening page writing isn’t stiff, but StoryWriter highlighted one “Maisy” paragraph to use as an example, though I didn’t use it because it was written in his voice/style I did understand the spirit of his note and what he wanted me to see, so I tweaked that paragraph so the read flowed more smoothly/natural.

(Because of a discussion on “facial expressions” that I had with nmstevens, I also rewritten another Maisy paragraph.)

Second note: “What I don’t see is where they are…”

I forgot to open with the Master Scene Heading.

Third note: “I have no idea what 65 miles inland looks like.”

“65 miles inland” was included in a SUPER (Superimposed) along with “RURAL.” This note made me realize I can tighten the SUPER by deleting “65 miles inland.” Readers can imagine a rural countryside.

Fourth note: “Emily is another generic woman, who is a good shot with a bow…”

I felt the character’s introduction with her action got across the essence of who this character “is”: smart, strong and skilled. Knows how to live off the land. Her interaction with Maisy showed she’s protective and compassionate.

But after StoryWriter’s note, I looked more closely at her introduction and realized her physical appearance was important to get across because besides the antagonist being attracted to the protagonist’s skill, etc., he was also attracted by her physical beauty.

Fifth note: “I’m guessing, from the same last name, and approximate age, probably Maisy’s little sister.”

Emily’s age was 24 and Maisy’s 5. Emily also has a son, 9. The population had been decimated from the war, and there are no concerns about delaying in having children because of a career, so the culture was to marry and start a family early, 15, 16. Because of StoryWriter’s note, I decided to make Emily’s age, 26.

About the “Story is king” mantra.

StoryWriter’s overall view of the opening page was: “Too many short sentences, not enough pronouns. … I doubt that I could take too many pages of this. ” In StoryWriter’s feedback he gave the caveat “I realize that a lot of this is just personal preference.”

As a new writer receiving feedback, you’re gonna get hit with a lot of the reviewer’s own personal preferences, such as, don’t use we see, technical jargon, camera angles, specific names of songs, etc.

As you learn the craft and develop your voice, you’ll learn what personal preferences in your writing works for you.

Reviewers are gonna have their biases and pet peeves. I certainly have mine. StoryWriter is a volunteer reader, so it’s his prerogative to not continue reading.

Professional readers cannot let their biases and pet peeves dictate whether or not to continue reading. Story, the major elements, must be the judge on whether or not a screenplay gets rejected or recommended.

The feedback that I received on my opening page was easy to deal with because it was minor issues. Realize that if I decided not to implement StoryWriter’s notes and left it like it was, my script would not have been rejected because I forgot to include a Master Scene Heading, length of sentences, had too many nouns and not pronouns, etc., because “Story is king.”

As a new writer, when you send your completed script out for feedback, you’re gonna be overwhelmed on how hard you get hit on your major elements, i.e., character, structure, dialogue, scenes, set pieces, pacing, etc.

Just take a breath and definitely some time to let the shock wear off so you can really SEE the notes and digest/weigh all the feedback, using what resonates with you and ignoring what doesn’t.

StoryWriter, thanks again for the notes. I believe the read of my opening page was enhanced because of them.

Last edited by JoeNYC : 02-03-2019 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:23 PM   #137
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Whoa!

ComicBent, I don't see how you do it. I've been gone for like ten years, and I feel like I've read this thread fifty times. It still puzzles me how a subjective topic (voice) can turn into an objective topic (craft).

It is nice to know that I can still use "we see," though -- at least until the rules change.

I have nothing to contribute.
Just sayin' ...

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Old 07-07-2019, 02:03 PM   #138
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by R.D. Wright View Post
Whoa!

ComicBent, I don't see how you do it. I've been gone for like ten years, and I feel like I've read this thread fifty times. It still puzzles me how a subjective topic (voice) can turn into an objective topic (craft).

It is nice to know that I can still use "we see," though -- at least until the rules change.

I have nothing to contribute.
Just sayin' ...

Ima use “we see” til the end of fukkin time. You don’t like it, fukk you, throw the script in the garbage, idiot! These stupid-azz rules are dumb. “We” GET “we see”. Period. Truth is, you won’t ‘get it’ if I write it ‘correctly.’ The note you’ll get is “it ain’t in the script.” So... fukk that ima go with “WE JUST SAW THAT SH!T”. (WE... meaning YOU and ME just saw THAT! So, now, let’s fukkin move on. Cool?)
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:19 PM   #139
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
Ima use “we see” til the end of fukkin time. You don’t like it, fukk you, throw the script in the garbage, idiot! These stupid-azz rules are dumb. “We” GET “we see”. Period. Truth is, you won’t ‘get it’ if I write it ‘correctly.’ The note you’ll get is “it ain’t in the script.” So... fukk that ima go with “WE JUST SAW THAT SH!T”. (WE... meaning YOU and ME just saw THAT! So, now, let’s fukkin move on. Cool?)
Well.. yeah. I think that's what I was sayin'. Just not like a rapper.

Is it safe now?
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:41 PM   #140
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Well.. yeah. I think that's what I was sayin'. Just not like a rapper.

Is it safe now?
Ha! I’m listening to rap RIGHT NOW! “Do Girls - Theophilus London” BANGIN!!

This be the soundtrack to my life. Crip life, cuz!
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