1. Laura wise
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    Laura wise Member

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    How do I make the reader feel isolated?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Laura wise, Jul 10, 2015.

    I'm attempting to write a script for a web series and there are two episodes were the main characters a captured, separated and locked in cells. I really badly want to drive that feeling of isolation and loneliness home. How should I do this?
     
  2. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Make it a two-parter flashback episode. Show sentimental flashbacks of them together and then suddenly, jarringly, juxtapose those flashbacks with scenes of them suffering alone. Invent as many visual motifs as you can and subtly plant lush, colorful versions of them in the flashbacks and plant stark versions of them with all the warmth stripped away in the present scenes.

    In webcomics and TV shows, my favorite episodes are almost invariably flashback episodes. Now that I think about it, one thing they all have in common is that the flashbacks highlight the isolation and loneliness of the present. Zuko Alone and Appa's Lost Days* from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Out of Gas from Firefly, that one scene in Breaking Bad where a flashback of Jesse in high school working on his woodwork is juxtaposed with a shot of him in the meth lab, Three Stories from House, Dobranoc Gamma and The Coward Heart from Gunnerkrigg Court, etc.

    * That episode is a masterclass in juxtaposition. For example, when it flashes back to the day when Appa chooses Aang (showing Appa eating an apple from Aang's hand), and then cuts forward to the bleak, dark present, with an older and lonelier Appa in the same place, chewing on a metal rod. And, of course, the shot of Momo lying down in Appa's footprint while the rain puddles up inside it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I was going to say, "Use the D.E.N.N.I.S. system. But yours is good too.
     

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