Notes from a Screenreader: Boo

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Photo via Go Into the Story.

Does your conflict pass The Haunting Test?

You’re a ghost. A traveler from another dimension who can be neither seen nor heard by the people around you, not even the person you seem to be glued to, whom you are compelled to shadow. Always.

You have no choice but to observe.

How long does it take that person to bore you rigid?

  • Chit chat doesn’t cut it. Realistic dialogue is not effective dialogue. Neither is dialogue that explains things you can piece together from visual clues. Much more entertaining to eavesdrop on conversations with colliding agendas.
  • Repetition is painful. Bed, bus, work, bus, eat, bed. Wouldn’t you rather be glued to an ambiguously ethical warlock, Joan of Arc or a smokejumper?
  • Compromise is for international trade agreements. Would you like to hang out and watch two old married people decide which VOD movie to rent, or be on that elevator with Jay Z and Solange?

— ANNIE LABARBA 

Annie is a screenwriter, story consultant, and reader for major screenplay competitions.

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