Thursday, August 28, 2008

What Reality Should Be

After ripping what some think reality is, I guess I should set some guidelines for what I would like to see in a reality-based script.

Relationships: I want to see relationships where neither partner is wrong all the time, and shouting isn't the only mode of communication. You need quiet moments as well as loud ones, and you need people caring for each other; if the only thing that they do together is yell, then why are they together? Note that I'm not saying that a group should be nice to each other all of the time; however, they shouldn't be in what amounts to a negative relationship just because it fits the plot. The relationship needs to be balanced to at least some degree or else your story itself will suffer later on at some point.

Crime and Violence: Obviously I'm not going to advocate against them; they are too important to good plots. Rather, unless there is a good reason for it, don't have more than you need. If you're going to use violence, use it only when you need to make a point; too much and it loses its impact. Crime is just a form of polite violence; it's a violation of the person's rights. Again, use it just when you need to make an impact, or it's going to lose its ability to make an one.

Victimization: If using violence too much will make it lose its impact, making all of your characters victims will create an even more ineffective character. Women as victims of rape is a cliche, and rightly so; not every female needs to be that violated. The same obviously applies to young male characters as well. The point here is that there needs to be a limit to how much victimization occurs; not everyone needs to be damaged goods, as that can get boring quickly. You should have no more than one or two severely damaged characters; any more than that and your story is going to be more likely to be filled with cliches, and that will generally bring down the entire story.

People in Black: Too many characters wearing black is boring. Boring! Don't do it. Period.

If you are trying to create more realistic setting, then please stay away from one with gothic or street sensibilities; it may seem more realistic, but you're more likely to hit cliches....and there are only so many stories that you can write about wannabe rappers or people standing around talking about how things are so angsty. Yes, I'm over-simplifying, but even Neil Gaiman has been known to write happy stories once in a while. You should try it as well....

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