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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  Round 1 Topic & Discussion Thread. Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Round 1 Topic & Discussion Thread.  (currently 6774 views)
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 1:23am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Alright, I've read the serious entries. Not bad. Some really nice moments in some of them.

Now, I've got to get my comedy head on, I suppose.
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leitskev
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 9:58am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Got my little scoring table set up.

This is not a criticism in any way, good concept for a tournament! Just a general observation about the problem with scoring by category.

I can conceive of some talented writer crafting the perfect script, yet scoring very low on dialog. For example, comedy is much more conducive to showing dialog prowess. Some stories by nature have limited dialog, and to try to spruce up the dialog would ruin the story. In those stories, sparse dialog is the perfect dialog, but it won't really showcase what the writer can do and won't score high.

Again, it's not a criticism. No matter how you break down the categories you can run into that.
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Mr. Blonde
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 10:33am Report to Moderator
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What good are choices if they're all bad?

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Quoted from leitskev
I can conceive of some talented writer crafting the perfect script, yet scoring very low on dialog. For example, comedy is much more conducive to showing dialog prowess. Some stories by nature have limited dialog, and to try to spruce up the dialog would ruin the story. In those stories, sparse dialog is the perfect dialog, but it won't really showcase what the writer can do and won't score high.


Here is the best retort I can muster and I'm so glad you picked dialogue because this will be the easiest one for me to explain.

If you read a script with no dialogue, would you grade it as a 1 or a 5?

People like to look at dialogue as "good" or "bad". I don't believe in that logic. I've had way too many conversations with people that a lot of reviewers would say is bad and it reads false because they don't think anybody actually talks like that.

Instead, I categorize it as "necessary" and "unnecessary". There's no rule which say your script has to have dialogue. If you have a no dialogue script, but you still understand everything and every character's motivation, knowing that putting dialogue in would be a bad idea because you don't need it would probably result in a score of 5 for me.

Dialogue only works if it's necessary, no matter how good or bad it is. Otherwise, it's just fluff. But, that's why I like doing this kind of thing because you'll see people disagreeing on what they believe is necessary, unnecessary, good, bad, etc. and that starts a discussion and, as long as it remains civil, hopefully everybody learns a little something.

^^ That's bad dialogue. I didn't need to write that much. The real answer is score it how you feel. =)


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leitskev
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 11:01am Report to Moderator
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Great point, Sean, and that's the way it should work. But I doubt it would. I suspect a script with no dialog might get a 3...not a 1, but not a 5 either.

There's no perfect way to do categories. The only writing contest I used to care about was Nicholls. But the last time a did Nicholls, several years ago, they let out that they had, I think, 7 scoring cats. And one was "character growth". Which was a problem for me that year.

I usually build growth into my main character. But there is a whole other type of story that many gurus forget. It's the one where there is tremendous pressure on the hero to change, but where she must resist this pressure if she is to succeed. Her strength in this inspires others to change. Think Luke of Star Wars. Yes, he does mature into a adult, but the main pressure on him is to become selfish like Han Solo. He has to resist that. And because he does, it is Han Solo that changes.

I couldn't enter that script, the best one I had ever written, into Nicholls because of that. If you lose a couple points in Nicholls scoring you're out.

Anyway, I love your point.
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