ALLIGATORS IN A HELICOPTER

a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My First Ten Verbs

Brett over at A Bucket of Love tagged me with this meme, which is a writing exercise to list the first ten verbs in your script. It's to see if your script is too passive.

I'm a little afraid, but I'm opening up the still-in-progress rewrite of my supernatural thriller. Here we go...

sits
wears
are
registers
hits
fumbles
opens
washes
sits
looks

Interesting. It is a fairly quiet scene though, the main character sitting at a table, taking some pills.

Contrast this with the earlier draft:

steers
rants
smacks
swings
catches
glances
come
flips
reveals
drips

Different. And sort of revealing, in a yeah-it-was-more-active, but-now-it's-gone way.

Your turn.

19 Comments:

At 4:16 AM, Blogger taZ said...

I did take my turn... Conclusion: my script blows. Damn meme!

 
At 5:09 AM, Anonymous cwmagee said...

clink
flash
fill
is
is
are
consists
avoiding
puff
places

Guess I need to think about my opening scene description, hey?

Now, the experts:
Matrix (96 draft)
has
pulses
coursing
burning
begins
hear
making
continues
throb
slashes

Pirates of the Carribean
comes
singing
's (contracted is)
emerges
looming
stands
gazing
drink
is
clutches

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
's
is
enters
carrying
seems
dressed
looks
was
thought
think

 
At 7:04 AM, Blogger Julie O. said...

bobbles
is
wraps
pounds
grabs
pumps
drops
bursts
run
flips

No, it ain't a family film...

 
At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

builds
growing
grinding
building
breathes
spews
roars
rockets
prowls
turns
blasts

It's an action. Though maybe it sounds more like a day at the zoo? Or like a bad porno... :)

Big hardware ramping up to do fast things.

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

flips
winces
yanks
waves
smolder
whimper
presses
fires
crawl
gurgles

Interesting to guess what kind of scene each of these posts describes!

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger deepstructure said...

interesting idea.

slams
streaming
pouring
screaming
yelling
fan out
bristling
raise
follow
strides

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Chesher Cat said...

Damn, now I have to dig out my High School English Handbook and figure out what a verb is.

 
At 6:56 PM, Blogger The Hopper said...

tower
stands
walk
notice
shouting
grabs
block
stands
stands
is

there seems to be a lot of standing...

 
At 9:19 PM, Anonymous James Patrick Joyce said...

running
pulls
hunches
over
through
pulling
pauses
looks
moving
shrugs

 
At 6:19 AM, Blogger jefe said...

frames
linger
is
peers
is
blares
approaches
have
is
pummels

A little "is" heavy maybe?

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger writergurl said...

mill
waiting
thumps
whirl
packed
strolls
turn
passes
pauses
surveys

Yep. Somebody's doing something!

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Tom said...

"Verb...That's what's happenin'!"

Sorry, a Schoolhouse Rock flashback for you.

First ten:
grows
passes
stream
land
grab
run
follow
takes
whistles
looks

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger Gary said...

From the current script I'm working on right now.

sits
falls
sits
screeches
splashes
dash
cover
stares
tackle
fall

Bor-ing!

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Systemaddict said...

creeps
pound
buzzing
whips
smashes
twisting
dies
stirs
raises
looks

not sure if thats indictive of a good or bad start...but it's where I'm at.

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger Webs said...

The latest draft of "Sheep's End":

races
pulls
holds
is
grows
is
is
spends
wears
is

And, no, that's not too many uses of "is", thanks for asking. There's no less awkward way to say, for example, "His hair is cut short in a practical military style."

The verbs from the last draft (different scene):

travel
cuts
strides
wears
is
is
travel
packs
come
climbs

You know, the last draft just may have started too slowly....

 
At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"quarter-inch hairs explode from his shorn scalp"

c'mon, this is screenwriting...

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger Webs said...

LOL

Strictly speaking, "is cut" is a passive form of "to cut".

Here's the paragraph with the three uses of "is":

"He's a strong man, whose strength grows more from his hard wiry frame and experience than sheer bulk. His hair is cut short in a practical military style. This is not a man who spends time in front of mirrors."

I have no problem with that.

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Paul Campbell said...

Interesting exercise.

stands
stamp
swings
manhandle
is covered
stands
remove
reaches
is transferred
believe

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger Neal Romanek said...

What is great about the Pirates of the Carribean and accompanying pro examples is that they convey subjects moving through space. Words like "emerges", "comes", "continues", "carrying" show that some action is happening that some actors and a camera can go onto a set and reproduce.

Thanks cwmagee for that.

 

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