Photo via Go Into the Story.
Speeches in early pages give readers creeping dread because they are weapons-grade tools and should not be brought out casually and waved around for piddly little tasks like exposition.
- Speeches put the brakes on. Is it more than three sentences long? Read it out loud. See how long it takes. Is this a good spot to stop the drama, turn the house lights up and talk to the audience?
- Speeches are not visual. Stage speeches over scenes of dramatic action. Something to watch as the words scroll by in the background, point and counterpoint.
- Speeches reveal change. The revelation speech, given in public, that a character could never imagine making at the beginning of the story, is for the third act. That is what you need your howitzer for. Theme. Not backstory.
- Speeches are spotlights. Speeches that paint meaningful pictures are fine. There is a time and place to stop the action and weave a tapestry of words, but it better work as hard as the Indianapolis scene from Jaws to justify the page space.
— ANNIE LABARBA
Annie is a screenwriter, story consultant, and reader for major screenplay competitions.
Photo via Go Into the Story. Like badly built houses, when your characters suffer from faults in their very foundation they can get by just...READ MORE