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Old 04-30-2018, 07:17 AM   #1
Future_Screen
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Is this a good "Show donít tell"?

I wanna know if this scene (just an example) has a good show donít tell. When "No!" why?

Int. family Hardingís house, corridor Ė midday

Someone closes the door heavily.

ANDY (17) is angry. His face turns red, the teeth crunch, and the vein pulse. He is a volcano which can erupt at all time.

His sister MADDY (15) comes into the corridor. She doesnít recognize his anger, she looks at her cellphone, waiting for the next message from her friends. Man! When do they answerÖ? Maddy goes in Andyís direction.

He still looks to the close door.

Maddy
(gaze at cellphone; calm)
Hey, Andy!

Andy turns around. His face becomes angrier. Youíre so arrogant. Do you know that?

Andy
WHAT?!
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:31 AM   #2
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My 2 cts: if you leave out the following parts, it would be "show don't tell":

- "is angry"
- "He is a volcano which can erupt at all time."
- "She doesn’t recognize his anger"
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:38 AM   #3
mlesemann
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Get rid of the characters' thoughts ("Man, when do they answer" and "You're so arrogant - do you know that?").
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:38 AM   #4
WalterB
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The other replies already covered it.
You are telling instead of showing:
you are telling the emotions they feel and the thoughts they have.
The emotion you do show as well, which is good.

Always wonder: it this something visual (=showing) or am I guiding the desired interpretation by explaining the invisible (=telling)?
Unless it is a voice-over: thoughts in the shape of sentences are neither seen nor heard.
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Old 04-30-2018, 09:33 AM   #5
Future_Screen
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@mlesemann @WalterB @Runlevel Two Is this better?:

Int. Family Baker’s house, living room – evening

ROXANNE (18) sits on the sofa. She is watching a movie on TV. The room is dimmed, and blue and white light flicker alternately. Roxanne grabs popcorn from the bowl which lie on the table. Tears drops the cheek down. She puts the popcorn into her mouth.

Female voice (O.S.)
(from the TV; cheesy, romantic)
Oh, Ben! I can’t do this.

Male voice (O.S.)
(from the TV)
But you must. Show them our love, Lucy. They can’t forbid it.

Female voice (O.S)
(from the TV)
They would kill us, Ben.

Roxanne’s tears become a waterfall slowly. She brushes the tears away with her thumb.
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Old 04-30-2018, 09:48 AM   #6
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That looks good to me!
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:05 AM   #7
payperfilm
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While I generally agree with the previous responses, “show don’t tell” refers to conveying incidents or events or significant pieces of information. For example, suppose you had written a scene where Andy meets his friend and mentions that he had a fight with his sister instead of the scene you wrote. You might get the note, “Show me that fight don’t just tell me about it” if it is important to the story. How two people fight can tells us a lot about them plus we get to see dramatic conflict.

I once had someone complain that I didn’t read her screenplay carefully when I asked a question about the story. She said, “Of course, I included that information in my script. The character mentions it in the middle of page 27.” I responded by saying if the information is that important, which it was, she should have a written an entire scene to convey it not just slip it into some off hand dialogue. This isn’t a legal contract. It’s a screenplay
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:36 AM   #8
indietalk
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Some of your action writing is too technical. You need to let it flow. For example you can just say she is eating popcorn from a bowl. You don't have to say she grabs it, and puts it in her mouth. That's how we eat, so we all know that. And a screenplay will get very stiff with this type of action. Imagine reading a whole screenplay of "He grabbed the door knob with his right hand and gave it a turn to open it" instead of "He opened the door." Or "He put his right foot forward and then his left in a repeated fashion" instead of "He walked..." lol. Unless of course there is a reason to write this way, and it has to do with the story.
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