1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    How to show a video? In writing.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by GuardianWynn, Oct 28, 2015.

    Okay. So scene idea. Not sure the best way to express it.

    Short version: Two people are watching a video. How to express the video?

    Like, should I scene change or POV shit to the video? I guess that would be third person ommnicent?

    Should I stay grounded in the watchers POV and describe what she sees?

    @jannert
    @ChickenFreak

    Let me know if I need to add more context.

    More context. The video in question is a home movie and an action scene. Two lovers are filming there battle strength has a home movie for there daughter. The wife is even pregnant with the child they are making it for at the time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  2. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's up to you - it's your story.

    If I were writing such a scene, I would stay with the watchers' POV. But you're not me.
     
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  3. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would write it something like this.

    Dave rushed through the door, threw his keys onto the sideboard and fell onto the couch. Where was the dam remote? He rummaged behind the cushions. His bloody flatmate had probably left it in the fridge again while retrieving those buckets of icecream he would glut on, or somewhere equally moronic. Oh wait, he was sitting on it. The television ignited into colour. He was in time, the theme tune was still playing. Dave hummed along- Neighbours, everybody needs good Neighbours-

    Harold Bishop opened the door and placed his keys on the sideboard.

    "G'day, mate, what's that on your shirt, you little ripper" said Madge.

    "Mud, you drongo." Harold cuffed at the smear of dirt.

    Madge bristled. "Rack off."

    Harold retreated towards the door "fair dinkum."

    Dave wandered into the kitchen and flicked the switch on the kettle. He found his favourite cup in the sink. His bloody flat mate had been drinking from it again, and left a ring of scum around the inside. He ran it under the tap.

    "What's up with him, He's Blotto." said Dr Carl Kennedy.

    ... forget it, I'm confused.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am confused.
     
  5. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I had a point to start with, but then I started enjoying writing silly Australian stereotypes too much to make it.

    I think you can either:

    • Write it from the viewer's POV (particularly if you want to explore their reaction to it, or have the input of their knowledge), or;
    • Considering that many films have an MC who is often an audience surrogate, it might work to jump into their POV. In the second one, in order to avoid the confusion of head-hopping, or multiple on screen and off screen characters becoming muddled, I would consider literally separating out the scene. Maybe even as follows:

    Johnny pressed play. The projector flickered light onto the screen; a slideshow, which became a wavering image, which became a grainy black and white movie once the spools were up to speed.

    ***

    Movie, movie, movie, this is the movie.

    ***

    Back to reality.
     
  6. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know the two basic options. Not sure which is better for expressing the scene. lol.

    Though if it helps. It is not fiction. It is a home movie, of 3 people. An old man that is a camera man and friend to the two people seen. The two people seen are married and making a home video for there soon to be child. The child in question is watching it with a new friend. Showing her what her parents were like. It is an action seen two as the two married people have a fight, in good fun showing of there skills.
     
  7. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    In that instance I imagine I would be most interested in the reaction of the child watching her parents. I would probably want to stick with the MC's POV as I could provide a commentary on the film and the reaction to it. If the parents are dead (?) it would also serve to maintain that emotional separation that comes with death. It would reinforce that these are just images on a screen, and wholly inadequate to provide that bond the child craves. It would make the moment more bittersweet. In my opinion of course.
     
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  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    A bit more context. The POV was originally the friend.
    So kid, friend and tape. One parent is dead.

    Thing is. They are both the kids. lol. LONG LOST SISTERS :D lol. But they don't know they are sisters yet. Originally the POV was gonna be in the friend who will later be revealed as a sister. Does that change your opinion?
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've not read anybody else's response here, so forgive me if I've just restated what somebody else already said.

    There's an important question that needs to be answered. WHY? Why is this scene important to your story? Why do you want to show us this video?

    Does it bring up memories for your characters, or shock them because it shows them something they thought wasn't true? Does their reaction to this video influence the plot is some way? Do they turn it up loudly so they can have rampant sex while their parents think all the racket is just a video they're watching? Is it important because we, the readers, need to see what happens in the video—but it's 'just another video' for your characters to watch, and they're not much interested in it at all?

    Figure out why you're putting this into your story, and I think you'll figure out what it is that you need to show. Is it the video itself that the reader needs to see? Or is it the characters' reaction to the video that's important? Slant your presentation according to what you want the reader to do with it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  10. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is a sister Y showing her sister X (her dead mother but live father). Sister Y does not know she is sister's with X. She just thinks of her as a friend. But... oh my God, I am tearing up.
     
  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    This gets confusing without names. lol. The video is of both there parents but only one knows this at the time. This is that characters second scene. So the real reason for the scene is to give that character screen time, and to dive into where she came from, her parents. It is also meant to be something that makes a reader go "oh yeah" later on as when they are revealed as sisters there will be a dawning moment I think that the video was both their parents.

    The MC is also is aw and amazement of what she sees. Then again, not sure if that means I should focus on the video(what she is awestruck about) or focus on her being awestruck.

    Does that make sense?

    Is tearing up a bad thing?
     
  12. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was not tearing up- sorry- that sounds harsh. I am trying to replace it with something I care about, and frankly, my being there is more important than parents, so I am finding the whole concept a little difficult. Parents, sod it, you lived without them, you live without them. No loss.
     
  13. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol. I suppose you are right. I just keep thinking of it like a movie. Which I think would cut to the movie. But this is a book and the focus is the sisters.

    But you don't think it a little sad? Think about it. She doesn't know it is her mom on the screen, because they were seperated when she was born. She was an orphan. You don't think seeing your mom for the first time would be kind of a powerful moment?
     
  14. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Honestly no. Nights in white satin, never reaching the end... sorry a great tune came on. Honestly no. It is a woman on a screen, it is a face in a crowd; who gives a shit? Some helpful bugger will say "it is your mother" and you will say "no, it is a face on a screen". It is platitudes and nonsense.
     
  15. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol

    But the MC reaction is complete astonishment even without knowing it is her mom. lol. The video was a magical exhibition and the mom was a master of magic!
     
  16. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is fine, your MC is young enough to care- not to be world weary. She will be interested. Will she give a shit? Dunno. If she is insecure maybe. If she is some sort of superhero type who can rely on herself and fuck other people, it will be a distraction.
     
  17. jannert
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    Well, it looks as if we, the readers, don't need to see much of the video, then. It's the fact that it's the character's mother on screen that's important to your story. So don't waste lots of story time describing everything that happens in the video—because without your character's reaction, it doesn't matter to us. It's her reaction that counts.
     
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