We as writers need to do a better job of showing the reader what's about to happen without spelling it out like Jack Black does. The anticipation is one of the best parts of reading a book. Saying 'now this is happening' is too direct in writing. I don't want to read a book that goes something along the lines of this: " Jack picked up Baxter, then he kicked him over the bridge. After that Ron started to cry.' Can you imagine reading an entire book that sounds like that? Yeah, not so much. So show, don't tell. Stay away from the 'now this is happening' syndrome. And watch a funny movie.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Now This Is Happening
Anchorman is one of my all time favorite comedies. EVER. I mean, really. Classic lines such as 'It's an optical illusion' and 'Loud noises!' and my all time favorite, ' 60 percent of the time, it works every time.' In the scene below Ron (Will Ferrell) has a run in with Jack Black. Ron decides to discard a burrito out his car window, which in turn causes Jack Black to crash his motorcycle. Of course, the guy is pissed (rightfully so) and he decides to seek his revenge. He proceeds to drop kick Baxter, Ron's beloved dog, over the bridge. Before he does so, he says the words my husand often repeats, 'Now this is happening.' The viewer doesn't know what he's going to do, but we expect whatever it is to be pretty hilarious because of those four words 'now this is happening'. As a writer, you shouldn't do this. Why? While this is hilarious in film format, it doesn't translate well to readig format.