1. lvlr
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    lvlr Member

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    A romantic moment hinting of romance....

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by lvlr, Jan 21, 2010.

    Odd, question about a scene I am developing for a script.

    The scene has two characters: woman and man in their late 30s and early 40s. The man is beginning to fall in love with the woman, the woman doesn't want to fall in love with the man because she's been offered a job cross country. She is currently renting a room from him being between jobs. The scene should take place in or around the house.

    The purpose of this scene is basically to tell the audience this hinted at sexual tension is going to become an issue in the plot. This scene cannot come to physical contact in any sexual way because that's next scene it must be through either dialog or a general closeness, something....

    Oddly enough I have this disconnect. I do a outlining and then a writing phase and I have a hard time developing new material once I've finished the outlining phase and begun writing. Problem is I'm well into the writing phase and realized I needed this scene. So I feel completely stuck!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Possibly an innocent remark that the other one interprets as flirting, and perhaps reacts by pulling back emotionally. Maybe he or she realizes it was an innocent remark and tries to cover his or her embarassment.

    It will probably not be easy scripting this, compared to showing it in a short story or novel. But I don't do scripts, so you may have a better idea how to present it than I do.

    There are certainly many examples you can draw from in books and film, though.
     
  3. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never done scripts either, but it strikes me that the medium makes a big difference here. If the script is for a visual medium then you have a lot more scope than if its for radio. In a visual medium the actors' body language can reveal a subtext that cuts across apparently inane dialog (as in the balcony scene in Coward's "Private Lives") or the sexual tension can be shown in the complete absence of dialogue (as in the chess scene in "The Thomas Crowne Affair"). Whatever medium, I suggest that one way of showing the tension is to make it quite clear that there's something neither wants to talk about -- long, embarrassed silences, talk about anything else to avoid talking about the elephant in the room, I can imagine them both starting to talk at the same time and immediately stopping and falling back into silence. In a visual bedium you can fill the gaps with things like him sitting on the sofa next to her, and her responding by getting up to pour a drink and carrying on the conversation whilst still facing away from him ... you get the idea.
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Get some eye contact in there, for sure. That really intense "I'm gonna wear you like a feedbag" kind of eye contact...and then the rational, sensible mind takes back over and both parties quickly resume doing something else...like washing up. I don't think you need big dialogues for this. Let the actors do what they're (hopefully) good at. Some things, and especially these kinds of things, are better said without words.
     
  5. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, he's going to be trying for that, certainly. But she's going to be avoiding it. Or trying to persuade herself to avoid it.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's a script, so you are limited in how much stage direction you can give. Much of that is expected to be left to the director.
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Certainly a lot is left to the director, but I doubt the writer of the script of "The Thomas Crowne Affair" left a whole scene completely blank for the director to fill in! Where specific action is key to the script then surely stage direction is appropriate and acceptable. There's a lot of variation in how much stage direction authors give. The very detailed stage direction in Shaw's "Pygmalion" doesn't seem to have hindered its success. What about the writers of silent movies? Did they leave everything to the directors?
     
  8. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Cooking. Preparing food is one of the best ways to show a playful, innocent scene that can quickly turn to sexual tension. Tasting food that is being prepared, feeding each other something, bumping into each other in a tight space, talking over a glass of wine and the food they prepared, all lead to sexual tension, because eating is a sensuous act.

    The conversation should be light, fun, but intimate in a way. Sharing something of their past or concerns for the future could come over the meal itself. The end of the meal would be a great place for him to express that he doesn't want her to go, thus leading to the sex later on.

    Gardening wouldn't be a bad scene either. Playing in dirt, pulling weeds, accidentally touching a hand or an arm, laughing...all can be flirtatious, and lead to tension.

    Cleaning and having coffee are too non-sexual. Painting a room might be all right though. Rubbing a spot of paint off someone's cheek can be very sensual, even though it is an innocent act.

    Since it's a script you have to keep the stage direction to a minimum, but little things, like the rubbing paint off, wiping a smear of dirt off, or feeding her a bite of something he is making could be put in there to show the non-dialog tension. Even if the stage direction is ultimately ignored by the director, it gives the actors something to work with in the scene as to how they should behave and the general emotions that will be involved as they act it out.
     
  9. lvlr
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    lvlr Member

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    Another Idea...

    Here's an interesting idea.
    There's a lot of interesting ideas kicking around here.
    Here's a new one though.
    This one is sort of obvious and tends to seem sleazy, but it would be interesting if there were a fresh take on it.
    My characters are sharing a bathroom therefore a character could walk in when another was in the shower. That would be the unoriginal way to handle it. Maybe there's something fresh and interesting that could be worked out there.
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    So write it, and see whether it works! :)

    Could be sleazy, yes, but it's also classic rom-com territory (eg, it happens in Notting Hill, although the characters involved are not destined to get together). I don't see why it shouldn't work in other styles of writing too.
     
  11. lvlr
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    lvlr Member

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    Cleaning is interesting...

    I like the food idea. Problem is I already used it. And as you said I think it really did turn out. It's just I already used it.

    The idea of cleaning is very interesting. I'm going to look into that.

    I really am not that hot on my idea of doing something bathroom/shower accidentally walking in. The more I think of it, the more unoriginal and boring or sleazy it seems.
     

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