How to represent grief effectively?

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  • #16
    Re: How to represent grief effectively?

    I've always liked the scene in About Schmidt where he puts his wife's makeup on.

    No one can ever write that one again.

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    • #17
      Re: How to represent grief effectively?

      I like to have them cry really hard and then say, "I'M SO SAD!"
      QUESTICLES -- It's about balls on a mission.

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      • #18
        Re: How to represent grief effectively?

        This always works:

        "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!"

        And then:

        "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??!!"

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        • #19
          Re: How to represent grief effectively?

          Originally posted by Richmond Weems View Post
          This always works:

          "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!"

          And then:

          "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??!!"
          I believe both of those would take up two lines, so I'd avoid them.

          But if you reduced them by a few letters -- yeah, totally.
          QUESTICLES -- It's about balls on a mission.

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          • #20
            Re: How to represent grief effectively?

            it depends which stage of the grieving process the person has reached. denial, anger, bargaining, depression, or acceptance. different stages will be expressed in different actions or behavior

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            • #21
              Re: How to represent grief effectively?

              Originally posted by Knaight View Post
              I believe both of those would take up two lines, so I'd avoid them.

              But if you reduced them by a few letters -- yeah, totally.
              Sage advice, sir. I owe you a blunt.

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              • #22
                Re: How to represent grief effectively?

                Personally, I enjoyed the way in which they dealt with their grief in Little Miss Sunshine.
                "The Hollywood film business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S Thompson

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                • #23
                  Re: How to represent grief effectively?

                  I can think of two examples from Judging Amy, a show that had a lot of faults but also featured a lot of excellent performances from Tyne Daly.

                  Her love interest on the show was Richard Crenna, who died unexpectedly mid-season and they wrote his character's death into the show. One of the last conversations between Maxine and Jared (their characters) was a lighthearted discussion about cutting her hair.

                  After spending much of the episode angry and yelling at everyone, Maxine finally gives in to her grief, cries, then goes upstairs and cuts her hair, smiling into the mirror.

                  It sounds cheesy, but it was really moving onscreen.

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                  • #24
                    Re: How to represent grief effectively?

                    British film TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY is all about grief. Juliet Stevenson and a very funny Alan Rickman. Written and directed by the late great Anthony Minghella.
                    ScriptGal
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                    • #25
                      Re: How to represent grief effectively?

                      I thought it was handled kinda well in Descendants.
                      "Friends make the worst enemies." Frank Underwood

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                      • #26
                        Re: How to represent grief effectively?

                        AMOUR, also Oscar nominated this year:
                        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1602620/
                        Story Structure 1
                        Story Structure 2
                        Story Structure 3

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                        • #27
                          Re: How to represent grief effectively?

                          I think this has veered off from the note "character deaths are telegraphed and lose emotional impact." and while some posters tried to get it back there, it hasn't really been addressed...

                          That to me means everything leading up to the deaths is what needs to be focused on, not what happens after they're gone. Without reading it, it's hard to say, but it could be that the reader didn't feel a connection with the character, or maybe they're saying the writer was just using the character as a red shirt to kill off or a ploy/plot device to make an emotional moment when it felt necessary.

                          If the note is valid, I would be more concerned about those kinds of things than I would figuring out how to show the grief after the fact.

                          If you don't have the connection before the loss, then very little is going to matter afterward. Take Ordinary People, was the audience sad about the brother dying? No, not really. Obviously, if it were real life, the biggest tragedy would be the brother's death, but in a movie, we don't really get to know the guy. So, while it's sad and it might affect some people that actually lost a loved one to drowning, it's not emotionally impactful to the audience. Even when we flashback and see what happened, it's scary, but we don't feel that much for the guy other than it sucks to be him. What is impactful, though, is how the family treats each other after the fact. If you cry watching Ordinary People, you are crying because of the family's dysfunction and because of how frustrating love and stubbornness can be, and the pain caused by the resentfulness and rejection of a mother. You're not crying over the loss of their other son/brother.

                          I wonder if that's what the note actually means.
                          On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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                          • #28
                            Re: How to represent grief effectively?

                            A very informative thread for me. My protag has to deal with nine deaths in act two.
                            I'm going to go back and make sure the connections between the protag and the victims are more clearly expressed.
                            The audience/reader is only going to meet four of the nine. The events leading up to the demise of the others are being told by a flashback of a witness.

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                            • #29
                              Re: How to represent grief effectively?

                              My favorite is Al Pacino (Godfather), where his daughter is shot on the steps of the opera house after an evening with the family. There are no tears, no words-- just one hammershocking moment where he throws his head back in an agonizing, long, drawn out, silent scream of absolute grief and horror.

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                              • #30
                                Re: How to represent grief effectively?

                                Originally posted by DavidK View Post
                                I thought it was handled kinda well in Descendants.
                                This. It felt raw and real.

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