1. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    Writing an Awkward Scene

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by S-wo, Feb 4, 2011.

    For the first time I felt awkward when writing. In a current short story I'm working on, I'm trying to write a dance scene for this young girl and this older guy. Before I even start to type I can't help, but start to snicker in my mind as I imagine awkward, corny, and provocative dancing that I might imagine in a bad commercial or movie.

    Have you ever felt like that when writing something and what's the best way to handle a situation like this, because I'm finding it hard to make it believable.
     
  2. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    Whenever I come across a scene I find awkward to write about, I find a book or movie that shows something similar to the scene I'm after. In your example, a movie I would recommend is Shall We Dance? This is a movie I was subjected to watching at some point in life, but almost the whole movie is about what you're trying to write. It might be a good inspiration to get you through this awkward scene.

    Hope this helps...
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    -Oz gives a great tip there.

    Another big thing is to avoid cheesy, "no one really talks like this" dialogue. Read over the scene once you've written it and make sure that your characters talk the way people really talk in social settings.
     
  4. Fiona
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    Fiona Member

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    Agree with Mallory - your characters speech can really transform a scene from something cheesy to something authentic. If you really get a feel for your characters then they can make your scene believeable.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or make it a comedy scene ? Have them a bit awkward and funny with each other.
     
  6. Fiona
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    Fiona Member

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    True ^ If the scene is awkward, perhaps your characters feel awkward. Let them feel that way. In real life there are times when things feel painfully embarrasing or when we wish the ground to swallow us whole - why not reflect that in your writing? :)
     
  7. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    It's going to be an awkward scene. Like the others said, go with it. So many elements that make the characters 'not fit' in a perfect why that the awkwardness you feel should project through.
     
  8. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    All right I'll work on it. I have a question though. If you've ever been to a club can you describe the music that plays there and what kind of dances are popular?
     
  9. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know what your characters' ages are or what time period your story is set in so its a bit difficult to answer.

    There are lots of different types of dance clubs, especially if you are in a big city like Los Angeles. They can play anything from R&B to rap to grunge to heavy metal.

    Think of the type of music you want for the scene and what music your MCs like. If you need further inspiration, I would suggest watcing movies like Footloose, Step Up, and Save the Last Dance. I'll even suggest a movie about ballroom dancing, Strictly Ballroom, because it is a really good film. :)
     
  10. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    The girl is 15, the man is 18.
     
  11. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most dance clubs require a person to be at least 18 to get in. 21 if they serve alcohol.
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    So not really an older man lol Unless there is alcohol or drugs involved it will be very awkward.

    Never really been to a club though - don't think the one's in my town count however could ask my brother this evening.
     
  13. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lol so almost the same age, then. Specially given that girls usually mature at an earlier age than boys.

    Is this club outing maybe what we call here a 'matinee', in other words, a club with no alcohol served, from about 2.00-5.00 in the afternoons? My daughter (aged 16) goes to them and they play mostly the latest dance hits like you hear on the radio. The age for entrance here is 14. Half the time girls dance with other girls, but they have lots of school friends who are boys, and they dance with them, too. Sometimes their 18yr old brothers, no problem. In the UK there used to be 'youth clubs' like this--don't know if they exist now. A young girl would be unlikely to dance provocatively, I mean in a really sexy way unless she was drunk or had something she was out to prove, IMO. The 'man', likewise.

    Or does the girl look older than her real age? Or is this a 'real' dance club, i.e. ballroom-type dancing? Is it a private 'do' maybe, like a tennis club dance? I used to go to 'discos' when I was 14-16 given by my athletics club.

    I'm wondering why this situation seems quite so corny, funny or embarrassing for you...it sounds pretty normal to me. Is it because you feel embarrassed yourself about asking a girl--of any age--to dance? Or because you have very little experience of going to a club? I advise you to go with (maybe an older) girl, a sister, cousin or good friend perhaps, and get the embarrassment out of your system. The research would at any rate add a more authentic touch.
     
  14. Terri
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    Terri Senior Member

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    15 & 18? Not much of an age difference at all. Or is the awkwardness because he knows she's a minor?
    This is a hard question to answer w/ such a vague reference to scene.
    If its the 50s & they're at a school dance, the only awkwardness should be that they like eachother & don't know what to say.
    If its the 70s, The Doors is blaring & they're high as kites, they'd go w/ the flow & there'd be no awkwardness.
    If its today & she got in to the dance club w/ a fake id & the guy knows it - but she's hot & he wants her so he doesn't really care, but then again he's an honest guy - it might be awkward on his part.
    Guess I just need more info on what's going on to help out. Sorry.
     
  15. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    About that post who said a 15-year-old would never dance dirty at a club...um no haha....they sure did at my HS dances (which were like five years ago and it's probably gotten worse since then!) Just sayin. ;)

    However, there likely would be an issue with getting in in the first place, because you have to be 18 to get into a club. Two ways to solve this:

    1. Fake ID
    2. Some clubs have "teen nights" that let teenagers in

    I definitely agree that the adult/minor thing with him being 18 would be awkward. When I was 16 I liked a guy who was 19 -- it didn't work out largely because the age thing made things awkward for the guy.

    What if the girl was coming on to him and acting extremely provacative, and he was not wanting to start anything because it would technically be illegal? (In Florida, the age of consent is 16, so 15-18 is technically breaking the law). This would create an extremely awkward situation.
     
  16. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    This is current day and it's a 21 and up club. The guy is actually close to turning 19. The age difference wasn't exactly why I was feeling awkward it was trying to descriptively write the actual dancing, before I move on to the next scene. Every time I tried describing the dancing I got very cheesy images from sitcoms and commercials come up and end up talking about a guy flailing his arms, gyrating, pelvic thrusts, and a fifteen year old droppin' it.

    I was asking about popular music and dances, so I could avoid being that specific.
     
  17. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Some current hot club songs are "Hot Tottie" by Usher, "How Low" by Ludacris, "Carry Out" by Timbaland, "Telephone" by Lady Gaga etc.

    As far as popular dances, as far as club dancing goes it's really just what you described, no specific names I don't think. :)
     
  18. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    I know what you mean now. Describing someone dancing can be really tricky. Why don't you just tell your readers how are they in the dacing matter?

    If he daces well or not;if he's confident about his moves, or not; if he dances looking at her, or looking around at other girls;if everyone is apperciating his moves or not; if he's doing a good job dancing or if he's embarracing himself.

    The same works for the girl. Is she happy to be with him? Is she smiling? She's being sexy? She's awkward? She's shy? She's confident? And so on...

    Describing the moves is not a good way to go in my opinion. I just wrote a scene that took place in a club and I focused on the aspects I told you above. When it came to telling how was the girl moving, I just said she moved lithely with her hips, with great sense of rythym. I felt this was enough to paint the picture.

    I hope I've helped ;)
     
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  19. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice. It really helped take some of the awkwardness away.
     

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