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Imply of Explicitly State?

  1. Implty

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  2. Explicitly State

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  1. Who
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    Who Member

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    Imply or Explicitly State

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Who, Apr 22, 2014.

    I'm working on a story in which the main character is a professional wrestler. Surely, most people realize that this form of entertainment is scripted and coordinated, rather than competitive. However, I'm having a bit of time figuring out how to introduce it to the reader that knows very little about it.

    Right now, I have it written down in an implicating sort of way. Such as having dialogue being spoken between the wrestlers during the match and describing that they are doing so in ways which are discrete. Secretly, they coordinate the match. The whole idea behind pro wrestling is for the audience to believe it is real, but my reader has to know that the two forces aren't actually battling.

    Do I continue on in this implicating way or do I explicitly state the fact that they are working together to put on a show? Currently, I feel like I have enough implications that it should be transparent, but I wondered what you all thought.

    In another scenario it could be that two people are speaking about an incident that never occurred, or someone is replying in a sarcastic manner, or two or more people are interacting in a way that each of them understand, but others in the room don't.

    Do we imply that the incident never occurred, that the reply was sarcastic, that there is a secret being kept from others? Or do we explicitly state that these things are taking place?
     
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  2. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Always explicitly state.
     
  3. Who
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    So, assuming I take your advice... what am I to do? Simply state "They did not really hit each other as they were acting and putting on a performance"?
     
  4. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Sounds right to me.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I prefer the implicit version, actually. Let the reader realize gradually that the guys aren't really fighting. I think it's a more satisfying experience for the reader if he doesn't feel spoonfed; if, rather, he gets to figure things out as he reads.
     
  6. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Gotta agree with @minstrel.

    Personally, I think it's about as worthwhile explicitly stating, as a writing up a scene featuring a magician who is cutting his assistant in half, and feeling the need to drop an aside to let the reader know that it's all a trick and she hasn't been sawn in two... not really.

    The only time I would consider making it more explicit, would be if the POV was held by someone not in the know, such as a small child. Then you could have another character explicitly state the info in dialogue without it standing out like a sore thumb, as there would be good reason to have them told.

    I'd be less worried about the reader following what's happening, than treating them like they haven't got two brains cell to rub together. ;)
     
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  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm fairly sure that he was joking. Explicitly stating these things is usually a bad idea.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    @ChickenFreak - Joking ...or stirring?

    @Who - I'm wondering if you are first presenting these wrestlers in a match? Presumably, if the 'match' is choreographed, they will need to rehearse beforehand. So maybe that's the place to start? If the reader gets to watch them in rehearsal, this will end speculation. Not only that, it might be an interesting part of the story, especially if—like me—the reader knows nothing about professional wrestling. A behind-the-scenes glimpse is always fun.
     
  9. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    @jannert
    ;)
     
  10. Who
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    Yeah, I wrote up that sentence for MLM to see if he was being honest with me. Either he's just kidding or I really don't plan to take his advice. Hahaha. I agree that implying is better, but sometimes the lone writer is in a bubble and wants to make sure he or she is right.

    @jannert Generally, wrestlers don't rehearse before the match. Rather, they will discuss certain things ahead of time and then discretely call maneuvers whilst in the ring.

    So far, I have implemented the following hints:
    • The main character, Danny, talks with his partner, Rex, about losing the tag team championships and that they are meant to do so that night.
    • Danny discusses the success and failures of his current character with his boss, the promoter, Bubba Douglas.
    • Danny, Rex, and their opponents engage in discrete (through the fingers) cooperative conversation and the referee coordinates the timing of the match.
    • Bubba Douglas discusses the idea of drawing money and whether two people (or more) put on a good show.

    Maybe I'm naive about how thick some readers could be, but I'm pretty sure most people would get it. What do you think?
     
  11. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I am a total newbie when it comes to this subject (as you can probably guess by my question about rehearsal!) but I think if you do all the things you mention when writing about it, it'll probably be obvious the thing is scripted to some extent. At least to the extent of who wins. This is more or less like throwing a match in any sport, isn't it? Except here there are no penalties?

    Do people bet on the outcome of these matches, as in bet money on the outcome? If so, this could get nasty, and maybe it does.

    Choreographing is still not clear to me. How can something be choreographed if there is no practice beforehand? Unless the conversation through the fingers and before the match is sufficient? Have you got any sort of snippet you could post, to give us an idea of how this works?
     
  12. Who
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    Who Member

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    This is Justin Credible, a veteran wrestler, discussing 'calling a match'. Which is where you call the shots in the ring.


    If you have any questions, let me know. I've done my research.
     
  13. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Implying is another word for sub-texting and it's preferred in story telling.

    "Don't come down on me full force from the top rope like you did with The Fallen."
    "That was an accident. I lost my balance."
    "Well, don't lose it this time or I might lose it."
     
  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That was interesting to watch. I'm still not sure exactly how this works, but he made the point that improvisation is probably better than working to a script. So ...the goal is pure entertainment, not winning, then. It's a play fight? Unlike 'regular' wrestling.
     
  15. Who
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    Yes, it's a performance art, not a competitive sport. However, they are still liable to real injuries and their bodies take a great toll over the years. Possibly more than your average for-real fighter.
     
  16. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say that you may be over, rather than under, communicating your message.
     
  17. Who
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    Who Member

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    I had wondered that. What would you think I should keep and or what might I change to fix that? Just curious.
     
  18. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I know Hulk Hogan suffers from severe back pain for the beating he took. I know it's largely faked, but accidents happen and I've seen a few YT videos of accidents in the ring. An intended pile driver where the wrestler going to do the drop lost their grip and the intended recipient slammed their head onto the mat. Things like that.
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I'm not saying that having all of those things would be bad, but they should all be there naturally for some reason other than communicating that the fights are faked/staged. So I'd say that you keep the one(s) that drive the story most naturally--the ones that you couldn't remove because they serve some other essential purpose.

    For me, just the term "character" (in "Danny discusses the success and failures of his current character") would pretty promptly make me realize that the fight is a fictional performance.
     
  20. Who
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    @Robert_S Yeah, the mat they land on is not soft. When they make it look like they're spiking people on their heads, they aren't actually doing so. But, they feel the impact from the fall regardless. Falling onto your back from six feet up is not going to feel good unless the ring was made of pillow, and it's not. In many ways, wrestling is more dangerous than a lot of sports. You have to trust your 'opponent' to not break your neck when they're throwing you around. At least in competitive sports you can throw a big fight and not let them touch you. In wrestling, you have to let them perform the moves for the sake of the performance. If they slip up or don't know what they're doing, you're screwed.

    @ChickenFreak Alright, gotcha. And yeah, even though I listed those things all together... they happen naturally through the start of the story. Good point, though!
     

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