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Author Topic: New Article Addresses #1 Screenwriter Problem at Script Nurse  (Read 9905 times)
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padnar
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2008, 12:00:21 AM »

Thanks for the article . I copy pasted it .
padma
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Write Or Wrong
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2008, 10:28:00 PM »

Aw heck, it's just a piece of action I came up with on the fly to illustrate the point.  But for the record, Uncle Al, I think you're right; "ever going to be" does work better.  Smiley

It certainly is a great article.  Kudos to Cindy.
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uncle_al
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2008, 09:51:57 PM »

Oh, I almost forgot...

I have enshrined a printout of Cindy's article in my Permanent Reference Notebook, or PRN. 
(Double pun, here... prn is the medical abbreviation for "as needed", and PRN: is the old device name for the default printer on a CP/M and MS-DOS system.)

Oooooh, scary!

My eternal gratitude to Cindy for the article, and thanks ever so, Don, for posting it on the site.

Cheers!

Al B.
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uncle_al
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2008, 09:48:20 PM »

Oh, I like the capper...

That buttons it up and puts a bow on it.

If I may suggest, though, it might read better as this:

"Fingers is as dead as he's ever going to be."

Somehow, that scans better.

To me, at least... and I'm a small audience to write for.

Cheers!

Al B.
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ScriptNurse
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2008, 06:13:49 PM »

Interesting observation. It's the additional description that really caps it off.
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Don BledsoeWant to write screenplays? READ SCREENPLAYS!
Screenwriter & ProducerWant control? GO TO FILM SCHOOL!
Representation: Eileen OFarrell, OFarrell Management (818) 985-3136
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Write Or Wrong
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2008, 12:38:21 PM »

Yes, it must be said, I was very informed by the article.  My writing habits were clearly demonstrated to be wrong.  The passive voice is something I use way too often.  But Cindy's piece was very educating for me.  I felt as though the correct way to write was illuminated.  And I vow, as I stand here today, the passive voice is something I will never use again...   Wink

Ouch!  It's a lot harder to do that intentionally than I imagined.

All jokes aside, I still feel that passive voice, if used judiciously, can not only add to the palate of sentence choices that a writer can draw from, but can also offer a dramatic boost when used properly (and sparingly):

Joe whacks Fingers Morelli over the back of the head with a tire iron.
Before Fingers can fall, Tino delivers a vicious uppercut to his chin with the ice pick.
Fingers slumps to the ground, moaning.
Dutch grabs the shotgun from the Cadillac trunk and BLOWS Finger's head off.
For good measure, Tino kicks the corpse a few times.

Fingers is as dead as he's going to be.


Notice how all the exposition up to the end is in active, some might even say aggressive, voice.  But that last line shifts to passive voice.  I could have just as easily used active for that too:

Fingers dies.

or

Fingers' body just lies there.

But in this case, use of the passive voice marked a strong contrast with all that active voice in the preceding exposition.  It serves as an exclamation mark to the action.

It's still important to make sure to use active voice 99% of the time.  Especially when writing in present tense script form, it's easy to fall into the passive voice trap.  The main thing as a writer is to educate oneself to the point of knowing the difference instinctively, and then making that choice from an informed position and not by error.
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seansshack
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2008, 08:46:55 AM »

Thanks. Good article.

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ScriptNurse
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« on: February 06, 2008, 10:19:40 PM »

Thanks to our resident language expert, Cindy Troy, and after reading literally several hundred scripts written my members of Script Nurse, we have identified the #1 error made by YOU!

Cindy's article, To Is or Not to Is: That is the Question will help every writer who uses this site to Write better right now!



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Don BledsoeWant to write screenplays? READ SCREENPLAYS!
Screenwriter & ProducerWant control? GO TO FILM SCHOOL!
Representation: Eileen OFarrell, OFarrell Management (818) 985-3136
Attorney: Paul S. Levine (310) 450-6711
Websites: Script Nurse, Go With The Flo Productions Inc., Queen Dad
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