Ben and Shelia are Horrible People

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Re: Ben and Shelia are Horrible People

Postby Comic Kitten » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:15 pm

The swearing is totally fine!!! But there's certain situations people wouldn't go all for it, such as at work to a customer (like Julie at the bookstore) or just meeting a guy as you pick up your paycheck (unless Shelia's upfront like that, then by all means go for it!). Your characters are very raw which is fantastic! I would love to read more of opening scenes like "Scene opens as Ben takes a walk down _______ as the autumn leaves fall." so I can get a feel for the setting and why they may feel worse or better that day.

There aren't any specific scenes that are unorganic, it's just a few lines here and there that seem off. Here's one I just pulled from the top: [BEN: As if you weren't a fucking whore before. I should have taken that Job position, just to see that fucking face of your shows an emotion other than horny...you know you're fucking lucky]. So when I read this out loud, it sounds strange, and not something I'd hear someone say. Novels are full of conversations that don't sound right out loud, which is why books being made into movies need screenplays. But in your case as a screenwriter, it's best to read your sentences out loud and see if they feel right.

I hope this helps and I can't wait to read more!
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Re: Ben and Shelia are Horrible People

Postby Tuor » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:23 pm

What CK is talking about, is part of why I said I found the characters frustrating, because they seem like…caricatures almost, to me, like "hey you wanna know how you can tell these people are shitty? Look how much they swear". If someone I just met talked to me like these people talk to people they just met, I would have just walked away from them.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: Ben and Shelia are Horrible People

Postby Millo » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:49 pm

Ah I see what you mean, I was afraid I'd make them too outlandish. Alright I'll take your advice to heart, expect them to be a lot more believable in the future .
Have you tried turn it off and on again?
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Re: Ben and Shelia are Horrible People

Postby Comic Kitten » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:03 am

Awesome! Just remember, a screenplay is supposed to be actual conversations from real people. Novels have the freedom to expand and use the dialogue as a tool to move their plot along. Your dialogue is the entire plot in a screenplay, though, so you need to make sure it's believable/relatable. You'll get it don't worry!
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Re: Ben and Shelia are Horrible People

Postby (CH3)3CLi » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:22 am

Millo wrote:Ah I see what you mean, I was afraid I'd make them too outlandish. Alright I'll take your advice to heart, expect them to be a lot more believable in the future .


I'm going to take this as an unofficial promise that there will be more in the future and that posting in this thread is still okay.

I don't know how applicable it is for this screenplay (which I'm loving, by the way, because you've made characters that I really want to wring the life out of--that this screenplay induced heart-pounding anger at your characters is commendable), but if you need an example of really effective dialogue use that does everything right (imho) I'd recommend reading Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants" which is almost completely dialogue. It also presents the topic of conflict without ever directly naming the topic. Great stuff.

Here's a link to a full text in case you're interested: "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway

Not that I dislike your style, but I like to think people in stories never have true conversations. Everyone's always jumping for a chance to speak. They interrupt, they misunderstand, they speak cryptically, and when you have two characters who have misunderstood each other conversing in a tense situation--man, that shit gives me conflict boners. There's a lot of waiting on turns to speak between Shelia and Ben, and I think there should be less of that if they're this stupid as people. Of course, moderation in everything, right? Up to you as the writer in the end.
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