December 8th, 2005

bear by san

Trolling the screenwriterblogs for the good stuff.

Josh Friedman on sex scenes.

Kung Fu Monkey on writing action scenes suspense scenes with an action resolution.

ETA: Will Shetterly on the above:

Sex and violence are inherently more interesting in ensemble stories, because we can't be sure that a character or a relationship will survive.

(word to the wise: swallow that coffee before you click that link.)

Word.

Or to boil it down a little more succinctly (because they're talking about the same things there)--sex and action aren't enough to carry a scene. Neither is anything else external. Not even big explosions (I'm looking at you, George Lucas.)

What carries a scene is tension, escalation, revelation, and resolution. In other words, if you're going to bother to show that sex scene or that fight scene, something needs to happen other than sex or fighting. Something has to change. The plot has to advance. The characters have to grow.

Which is why the sex scenes in A History of Violence are so effective, by the way. Also, the ones in The Cooler. They're Story, not Sex. (Although I admit, I never wanted to know that much about William H. Macy's anatomy, and I will carry the scars to my grave... but I honor him for his courage. *g*)

There also needs to be detail and a reason to ground yourself in what you're reading. The detail Friedman mentions there--the skin reddening under a hand--is the difference between effective writing and... alt.sex.stories.moderated as a drinking game.

Just like writing setting, or dialogue, or whatever; it needs to do more than one thing. Reveal character, build world (aid suspension of disbelief, if you aren't in a worldbuilding genre), create or resolve tension, advance the story. Ideally, all of the above.

Otherwise, you're killing trees for no reason.
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bear by san

BPAL: Amsterdam

from mekkavandexter

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The dead have come to claim a debt from me--

In beauty quandaries that don't exist among the socially acclimated, I may have to stop hennaing my hair. Because I'm getting enough gray to show, a little bit, at the temples, and I like my gray. But without the henna my hair goes very ash-blond, which makes me sad, because I like being a redhead.

What I need is a hair product that will bring out red highlights without turning the gray stands Titian.

Hmm.

P.S. Thirteen hours to Narnia!
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bear by san

In the middle of the tall drinks and the drama there must be someone you know.

The other thing about a copy edit is that it exists to make you feel like an idiot.

Because, you know, the number of times one can type "lead" when one means "led" or "mantle" when one means "mantel" is apparently infinite. Also, that whole who/whom thing? I know I'm better at it than this. :-P

Please, Madame CE, don't think I don't know the difference between "it's" and "its." I really do....

Keeps you bloody humble, I guess.
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bear by san

Stand back, girls, I gotta gargle.

I have a bottle of Chardonnay, a box of pfefferneuse, and 124 pages of manuscript to go.

Also, I love sdn forever for this.

Also also, my left shoulder is killing me. I have an old injury, a bunch of scar tissue, bursitis, and a tendency to copyedit with my left elbow on the desk and my forehead resting on my left hand while I green-pencil with my right hand.

I also do this while playing mouseable computer games.

Bad bear. Bad.

(Four hours to Narnia!)