Are all readers hopeful writers, or are there some that just like to read, have good ideas for corrections, but no desire to actually write anything?
Most of the readers I've known have been writers or aspiring writers. There might be a few who fancy themselves future producers or development execs, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say a fairly sizable percentage of people who share my job love to write and want to write professionally.
Ben Ritter asks:
Let's say a character in one of my scripts enters a kitchen, talks to her roommate, then later uses the stove. Do I need to mention the stove in the action line after the slug, or can I just say, "She turns on the stove" when she interacts with it?
Let's say instead of turning on a stove, she throws an eggbeater at her roommate. Should I just say, "She throws an eggbeater at her roommate"? Not every kitchen would have an eggbeater, so it seems weird to have one materialize if the reader had been picturing a kitchen without an eggbeater.
In most cases you probably don't need to establish it - if it's common to that environment. No one's going to cry foul if halfway through the scene, your college student character opens up the previously-undiscussed mini-fridge in his dorm room. If he turns around and pets his llama, then you might have a problem.
In your case, an eggbeater is a pretty common thing for a kitchen so you don't HAVE to set it up. If I was writing the scene, I might have the lead character doing some bit of business with the eggbeater just so it's established on screen before being pulled out of nowhere, but as far as the read goes, you're probably safe.
Teddy Pasternak said...
In the comedy I'm working on, I was considering making one of my characters Australian. There's no story reason for him to be Australian per se, the story takes place in the States, and he could be any nationality really, I just pictured him as an Aussie for some reason.
There are a couple of reason I'd like to do this; I have some jokes that would work, and I think it might be a good way of making this particular character stand out. It's a small part but he must be memorable since he plays a pivotable role in the story.
I could make this character unique in other ways, of course, and I don't want it to seem like a gimmick. Is it a bad idea to pick a particular nationality? It feels a bit like a copout. What is your opinion on assigning character traits that doesn't have anything to do with moving the story forward?
I don't see anything wrong with it. If it makes the character more unique, I say go for it. I'd point to the example of Bridesmaids, where the cop whom Kristin Wiig becomes involved with is actually British for no particular reason and it doesn't hurt the film in the least. Wiig's roommates are also randomly British, but again, I doubt few people came out of that film going, "What was up with all the accents?"
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