Working with the voices in my head

All work, no play and all that...
I’m not crazy. I’m a writer.

When you’re writing out a scene, you probably visualize what’s happening in your mind. But how do you handle the dialogue?

Can you “hear” the characters?

There’s a big difference between reading what somebody’s saying, and actually saying it, or at least hearing it.

Which is why what the characters say is just as important as what we see them doing.

Case in point – I’m currently working on a pivotal scene in Act Three. Something the hero says must effectively convince the villain to do something, and those words really need to make an impact.

These lines have been rewritten at least maybe a dozen times, and may have to go through a dozen more until it feels right to me. Whatever it takes.

Among the many things to consider: Does it sound right? Does it sound natural (and not like “movie dialogue”?) Does it get the point across? Could a reader ‘feel’ the emotion in the text?  Is it too long?  Too short?  Too on-the-nose?  Is this something that character would say?

Give your dialogue a test run. Say the lines the way they’re meant to be said. Become the character and say it like they would.  Let your inner actor out.

But keep in mind your local Starbucks may not let you come back.

Figuring my way out/through

The solutions are in there somewhere. Just gotta work at finding them

In an attempt to keep the outline momentum going, I’ve been making a sincere effort to squeeze in some writing on a daily basis. Sometimes it may only be 30 minutes or an hour, but I can’t keep making excuses as to why I’m not writing when I’ve got the opportunity to do so.

Lighting a fire under my ass is the only way. This thing ain’t gonna write itself.

And this is especially true now because I’m a few scenes into Act Three, and it’s quickly becoming all uphill from here.

I’ve got a semi-workable previous draft to work from, but some of the story details have been changed.  My next task is basically figure out what happens next using the practical approach: plot out each storyline, then weave them all together into an intricate, compelling and satisfying finale that ties up a lot of loose ends.

Daunting, but not impossible.

Also doesn’t hurt that I’m working a double shift on Thursday, which means lots of time to make some good headway. Dare I even consider reaching The End? We’ll see…

-Movie of the Moment. WRECK-IT RALPH (2012) – the latest from Disney*. If you were part of the 80s arcade experience and stayed involved with video games into the present, then you’ll probably enjoy this.

I liked it, but more for how the story was told, rather than what it was actually about.  It was impressive how there were a lot of setups throughout Acts One and Two that all paid off during the climax of Act Three. (I’ll be keeping this in mind for my outline).

Maybe the one thing that really stuck with me was that during the second half of Act Two, the focus seems to move away from title character Ralph and more towards supporting character Vanellope. I’m trying to figure out how it could have stayed more on Ralph.

As always, the voice talent is perfectly matched with their characters – especially John C. Reilly as Ralph, Jack McBrayer as Felix and Jane Lynch as Calhoun.  It was also surprising to see Sarah Silverman have a much bigger role than expected.

I’d categorize this as another movie I enjoyed in the theatre, but don’t feel like I need to own it. Same thing applies to BRAVE from earlier this year. Still, Disney always does high-quality work and it’s a feast for the eyes on the big screen.

*I originally thought this was a Pixar production, but it’s not. Proper edits have been implemented.