Writer's Block


Author Topic: Writer's Block  (Read 16808 times)

Lifeordeath1

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2008, 06:47:00 PM »
Thats very cool, and a very good idea, but why would I pay for someone to do that when I could get friends to do it for free.  I really do like the concept though!
"My biggest fear in life is to be average."
      M. Night Shyamalan

MrStone

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2008, 11:03:32 PM »
Thats very cool, and a very good idea, but why would I pay for someone to do that when I could get friends to do it for free.  I really do like the concept though!

I think they're semi-professional actors..not just friends.  I think if i was an established writer that I would use the service..however, locally, there is a stage actors group that will do it for playwrights and screenwriters.

Mr_Glass.1

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2008, 08:34:19 AM »
Thanks for the infor MrStone.  8) I think that's interesting about writing yourself out of a writers block.  I should try it.  Lifeordeath1, I agree entirely, I have, I think, 38 movie soundtracks, and am still collecting, and depending on what I am writing, I'll put in a sad soundtrack, or one full of action music, or drama.  It just depends on what mood I need to be in.  Some people in my family dislike it, because it puts them in that mood too, but o well, that the price they will have to pay to have someone famous in their family.  ;D  Usually what I get stuck on most is the dialogue, I have to keep the story moving forward, but I want realistic dialogue, while still advancing the characters and not getting bogged down in too much conversation.  Any help?  ???
I see the world Lucius Hunt, just not the way you see it.


Ivy Walker to Lucius Hunt in The Village

Lifeordeath1

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2008, 10:33:06 AM »
In my opinion... less dialogue the better.  I have the book ScreenPlay: Writing the Picture and it states, "In a movie, most information can be conveyed without dialogue.  You should always try to show rather than tell.  There is a lot of cool stuff I could quote but it would take forever.  Oh wait one more thing...
Quote: "One student screenplay concerned some college kids who discovered that their weird professor has invented a time machine.  IN the first scene, at a bar, the students recounted the previous nights adventure, talking about how they broke into the profesors office and attempted to start the machine.  The prob. was that there was no need to express these events through dialogue.  Since this was the event that started the story, the answer was teh create an exciting scene in which the students crawled in the window, discovered the time machine, and tried to start it, letting the audience see the action rather than hearing about it."

This is self explanatory but its good to hear.
Its true, writing dialogue and making it seem real is difficult, its esp. hard reading your own dialogue that you just wrote.  Always have a dictionary or thesauras on you.  Again, if you can stay away from the dialogue, it would be better.  Try showing something instead of talking about it and see if you can work something out.  Experiment with it.  I hope I could be of some help, but Im not sure I answered your question.  What exactly are beging bogged down with in the dilogue?
"My biggest fear in life is to be average."
      M. Night Shyamalan

MrStone

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2008, 10:10:26 PM »
In my opinion... less dialogue the better.  I have the book ScreenPlay: Writing the Picture and it states, "In a movie, most information can be conveyed without dialogue.  You should always try to show rather than tell.  There is a lot of cool stuff I could quote but it would take forever.  Oh wait one more thing...
Quote: "One student screenplay concerned some college kids who discovered that their weird professor has invented a time machine.  IN the first scene, at a bar, the students recounted the previous nights adventure, talking about how they broke into the profesors office and attempted to start the machine.  The prob. was that there was no need to express these events through dialogue.  Since this was the event that started the story, the answer was teh create an exciting scene in which the students crawled in the window, discovered the time machine, and tried to start it, letting the audience see the action rather than hearing about it."

This is self explanatory but its good to hear.
Its true, writing dialogue and making it seem real is difficult, its esp. hard reading your own dialogue that you just wrote.  Always have a dictionary or thesauras on you.  Again, if you can stay away from the dialogue, it would be better.  Try showing something instead of talking about it and see if you can work something out.  Experiment with it.  I hope I could be of some help, but Im not sure I answered your question.  What exactly are beging bogged down with in the dilogue?

I've read more than my fair share of screenplay texts - i think people get too bogged down in making dialogue realistic. 

the illusion is that it appears realistic but really is not.

if anything, i would describe it as an efficient way of beating around the bush.  You don't directly say what's on people's minds.  The trick is to let the audience figure out what is meant, rather than telling them.

I'll copy and past a scene from my script where I attempted to do this.

Salters answers his phone, smiling toward Adam.

SALTERS
That didn't take long.

RACHEL
I needed an excuse.

SALTERS
For what?

RACHEL
How do you feel about your boss?

SALTERS
I know the feeling.

RACHEL
It's just she's so damn abrasive.

SALTERS
And that bothers you?

RACHEL
I don't like abrasive people.

SALTERS
Well, not many do, sweetheart.

RACHEL
And I don't like it when people do that either.

SALTERS
What?  Say sweetheart?

RACHEL
You don't know me enough to say that.

SALTERS
What?  Say sweetheart?

RACHEL
You don't know me enough to say that.

SALTERS
So.  Did you call me just to tell me that?  Or do you want to tell me what's really going on?

RACHEL
It doesn't seem like you know what's going on.

SALTERS
I know.  That's why I am asking you.

RACHEL
Well, I don't have the answers.

SALTERS
Where can I get them?

RACHEL
I have to go.

Dial tone.


(FYI, this in the first Act,..what I attempted to accomplish here was develop character without the individuals actually saying what was going on.  However, it can be seen what is going on...there is tension between the two...a love - hate relationship...and maybe some history with Rachel)

I don't know..that's what I've read and this is one of the examples I have.

Mr_Glass.1

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2008, 08:47:40 AM »
Allright, thanks for the tip Lifeordeath1.  I'm getting bogged down in writing realistic dialogue.  Now, after reading MrStone's post, that helps a little.  One thing I do is know where I want to go with the scene, then reenact it talking out loud to myself to see how it sounds, if it sound to stilted I just try and talk normal, then write that down.
I see the world Lucius Hunt, just not the way you see it.


Ivy Walker to Lucius Hunt in The Village

Lifeordeath1

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2008, 12:19:47 PM »
Keep plugging away at it!  Eventually you will get it!  I think one of the problems is that we, at least me, are used to writing in blogs like this, or emails and we write wierd, speaking our point a few times.  Like have you ever noticed how people say goodbye more than once when hanging up the phone?  Its crazy!  "OK, well I will talk to you later, see ya, bye."  1,2,3 times the person said goodbye!  Next time you hang up listen to yourself or the other person, youll see what I am talking about.

In the movies, they hardly ever say goodbye.  There is no need to, we already know they are hanging up.  There is no need to repeat something the audience already knows.  Keep it simple, I guess that is my point after all that rambling. ;D
"My biggest fear in life is to be average."
      M. Night Shyamalan

MrStone

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2008, 10:26:41 PM »
Keep plugging away at it!  Eventually you will get it!  I think one of the problems is that we, at least me, are used to writing in blogs like this, or emails and we write wierd, speaking our point a few times.  Like have you ever noticed how people say goodbye more than once when hanging up the phone?  Its crazy!  "OK, well I will talk to you later, see ya, bye."  1,2,3 times the person said goodbye!  Next time you hang up listen to yourself or the other person, youll see what I am talking about.

In the movies, they hardly ever say goodbye.  There is no need to, we already know they are hanging up.  There is no need to repeat something the audience already knows.  Keep it simple, I guess that is my point after all that rambling. ;D
it's true.  i love movie dialogue..very efficient..i'd love to actually talk like that. ;)

MrStone

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2008, 10:33:00 PM »
speaking of writer's block. i think talking to you guys about it helped me.  I was able to make it significantly to a new turning point.  i even have a shyamalan-esque revelation before act III.  I wanted it early because i didn't want the conclusion's only strength to be the twist - like con movies do...or some other shyamalan wannabe's try.

Mr_Glass.1

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2008, 08:29:41 AM »
That's a good point Lifeordeath1.  That's great MrStone, I know this new section on the forum has been extremely helpful to me.
I see the world Lucius Hunt, just not the way you see it.


Ivy Walker to Lucius Hunt in The Village

Lifeordeath1

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2008, 10:10:53 AM »
Sweet Mr. Stone!  Its great that all of us could help, in some way, push you through your 3rd act!!!  This section has helped me out as well!  Now everytime I have an idea I write it down on a note card and read them later when I am stuck!  Usually I end up using them sooner or later!  YAHOO!

Ok, I know this may sound stupid, but I never really got the "ACT" thing.  Can you guys explain that to me?  Like the 1st, 2nd and 3rd acts, what exactly are they for?  What is their purpose?  Im sure its not difficult, but I could never figure it out.  I guess I could google it, but if you guys could tell me that would be great!  I know I should know this.   :o
"My biggest fear in life is to be average."
      M. Night Shyamalan

MrStone

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2008, 12:33:34 PM »
the points where the acts change are turning points.

end of act 1 - character has either by choice or being thrown into situation is on his mission. act 2 is the complications and should have a 2 turning points...the second being the gateway into act 3...whereas the hero knows what needs to happen to resolve the conflict. 

a little latr, i'll give better details when i'm not on phone.

Lifeordeath1

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2008, 05:51:25 PM »
Sweet!  Yeah I kind of understand, but more examples would be helpful Thanks MR. Stone!
 ;D
"My biggest fear in life is to be average."
      M. Night Shyamalan

MrStone

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2008, 12:14:27 AM »
Sweet!  Yeah I kind of understand, but more examples would be helpful Thanks MR. Stone!
 ;D

Classic Example - Star Wars - A New Hope.

Act I
Luke's family is murdered, Luke decides to follow Ben Kenobi and to be come a Jedi like his father.  This opens him up to the whole new world of being a jedi - the adventure begins.
Act II - Complications
Their goal is to save the princess from the Death Star.  That's the first turning point.  Once this is accomplished, they escape, but now they have a new mission - to Destroy the death star.
Act III  - Conclusion
Luke joins in the epic battle to destroy the Death Star where ultimately he is the hero because of his new skills/abilities with the force.

(The thing with Lucas' work is that it's also very intertwined with joseph campbell's hero's journey...)

In my next post, I'll provide another example.

MrStone

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Re: Writer's Block
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2008, 12:21:28 AM »
The Matrix - through the 3 Act Structure.

Act I
Neo learns about the Matrix and makes a conscious choice to take the red pill. (Like I mentioned, turning points are often driven by choice).  This red pill opens up the new world to him.  He is extracted from the Matrix and brought to the real world.
Act II
Neo begins to learn about his new world, experience it.  His training is example to this.  The first goal is get him to the Oracle to find out if he is really the one.  On the way back, the complications begin because sypher betrayed them which causes Morpheus to be taken hostage.  Now, as the oracle stated, Neo must make a choice.  His life or Morpheus'.  (choice again to move into Act III)
Act III
Neo and Trinity re-enter the Matrix to save Morpheus. Then they try to exit, which leads to the conclusion where Neo fully realizes his existence as the one (by being killed).

Joseph campbell is again very intertwined with this story.

This is fun..i'm gonna keep going and post a few more.