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Old 12-12-2017, 10:06 AM   #1
stevencwood
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Writing a Scene From a Character's POV?

I've recently written a chunk of something and two separate comments suggested that I should be writing a scene from the POV of a specific character. I'm a little new to this, and maybe it's the phrasing, but I'm a little confused.

I might be looking too much into this, but wouldn't that be a little like "telling not showing." I can't get too deep into a character through action lines (unless those actions are able to be filmed).

For example, if two characters drive up to a huge house, I can't say things like "Bob stares at the estate, jealous. It's something he's never had, but always wanted."

That would be the POV of Bob during that scene, but couldn't the same reaction be done through dialogue and have the action simplified like "Bob stares at the estate, amazed."

I can provide examples from my project if anyone is interested.
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:42 AM   #2
mlesemann
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Quote:
couldn't the same reaction be done through dialogue and have the action simplified like "Bob stares at the estate, amazed."
Yes.
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:44 AM   #3
stevencwood
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Originally Posted by mlesemann View Post
Yes.
Thank you, that's my way of thinking. I know there are writers who tend to accentuate their action lines with flowery details, but it isn't a necessity.
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:52 AM   #4
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I don't really understand this POV script writing... In my opinion I think you have to not overcomplicate it. Always write the script from the POV of the viewer who is watching your movie. If Bob is driving to a huge house, it is completely impossible for anyone who is watching him, and therefor for the viewer of the movie too, to know what he is thinking. So why you bother for not being able to show his thoughts? Either way it is impossible!

But is it really impossible? What if, at some previous scenes, you show Bob's childhood in a poor home looking surprised some huge houses on TV and now while he is driving he just stares unexpressed that huge house...?
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:45 AM   #5
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A screenplay is a story. So the POV is the reader. That's why it should be written in the present tense.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:49 AM   #6
stevencwood
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Originally Posted by Panos View Post
I don't really understand this POV script writing... In my opinion I think you have to not overcomplicate it. Always write the script from the POV of the viewer who is watching your movie. If Bob is driving to a huge house, it is completely impossible for anyone who is watching him, and therefor for the viewer of the movie too, to know what he is thinking. So why you bother for not being able to show his thoughts? Either way it is impossible!

But is it really impossible? What if, at some previous scenes, you show Bob's childhood in a poor home looking surprised some huge houses on TV and now while he is driving he just stares unexpressed that huge house...?
Writing emotion in an action line but NOT showing that emotion through dialogue or physical action is wrong, in every way.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by stevencwood View Post
Writing emotion in an action line but NOT showing that emotion through dialogue or physical action is wrong, in every way.
I don't understand what you mean. What do you mean "Writing emotion in an action line"?
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:02 PM   #8
stevencwood
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Originally Posted by Panos View Post
I don't understand what you mean. What do you mean "Writing emotion in an action line"?
Sorry, that was a half-thought thought I tired to express.

I mean you shouldn't describe a character's feeling in an action line UNLESS YOU CAN FILM IT. So if I say something like "Bob looks at the house, he knows he'll never afford anything like it, but still admires his surroundings."

How would I show that he knows he can never afford it? I can omit that line entirely and have him actually say something which gets that though across.
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stevencwood View Post
Sorry, that was a half-thought thought I tired to express.

I mean you shouldn't describe a character's feeling in an action line UNLESS YOU CAN FILM IT. So if I say something like "Bob looks at the house, he knows he'll never afford anything like it, but still admires his surroundings."

How would I show that he knows he can never afford it? I can omit that line entirely and have him actually say something which gets that though across.
That's actually a strict rule in screenplays. You can't write anything that the viewer can't see, like thoughts and emotions. So, my answer has given to you in the previous comment. Make the viewer understand what Bob is thinking just by zoom in, for let’s say 5 seconds, to Bob's staring eyes, without exaggerated face expressions or cheesy monologues.
When a homeless man is looking to a house you know what he is thinking because you know that he is homeless.
When a starving kid is looking to a hamburger you know what she is thinking because you know that she is starving.
In the same way, you have to build a situation for Bob, so when we just see him staring at a huge house, we immediately understand what he is thinking.
For example:
He wishes he had this house: Show him on previous scenes looking at big houses on magazines, or anything, you get it.
He can't afford it: Show him in his job, running to get the job done and his boss shouting at him, then he takes the bus to return home (so he has a low salary).
Such things.
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Old 12-12-2017, 03:53 PM   #10
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I think they mean the whole scene. Scene structure.
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:13 PM   #11
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It's more about having an understanding of whose scene it is. Who has the power and what do they want from the scene? Without a 'pov' there's no dramatic tension, and you've lost your audience.

Whose scene is it? What do they want? How do they get it/not get it?
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:17 AM   #12
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Something tells me that Steven is doing some intense rewriting now as he knows what to look for. Get those scenes to work, man. Then plug in the phones.
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:39 AM   #13
stevencwood
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Originally Posted by Filman View Post
Something tells me that Steven is doing some intense rewriting now as he knows what to look for. Get those scenes to work, man. Then plug in the phones.
I didn't share the script in question, but I probably should have. in each of the scenes that I've written, it's obvious to see who controls the scene, for lack of a better word.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bl...0Do4h4-wZ0jml4

It's a home invasion-esque Thanksgiving themed horror...thing. This is the first 24 pages. There is a break around page 18 where I need to insert some addition things, but I wanted to get to the dinner scene and get things moving.

I haven't put time in a logline, but the story revolves around two married couple who are long time friends coming together over the holiday. Secrets between the four of them begin to show themselves and violence ensues.

These pages don't get to the violence, but I will say it's got a dark tone to it. More so than just straight up violence.

Last edited by stevencwood; 12-14-2017 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:35 PM   #14
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POV is about the information at hand and the senseory perspective.
A ninja lurks in the shadows, ready to assassinate Bob.

From the POV of the ninja we know exactly where he is and when Bob gets close.
From the POV of bob every shadow is a threat.

Remember it's not about what bob is thinking it's about what is bobs story
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by stevencwood View Post
two married couple who are long time friends coming together over the holiday. Secrets between the four of them begin to show themselves and violence ensues.
Very nice
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