Mystery, Action and…the Mush Stuff

I’m working on a screenplay.  Not much time for posting to the blog.

For many writers of action and thriller the love scenes are tough to write.  Many times the women are cardboard characters–sweet girl-next-door, sexy vamp.  And, even if your characters are full-bodied (pun intended) writing about love is…well…hard to do without being pedestrian and boring.  Here’s how Brian Helgeland tackled a declaration of love in L.A. Confidential.

Lynn makes her declaration of love, not to the man she loves, but to his rival.  Conflict?  Yes.  Powerful dialogue? Yes.

The original script contains the seeds of the conflict.  The final screen version, after editing, is even stronger.  This is a masterful scene because the declaration of love–the mushy stuff–is set in conflict.

Every scene needs conflict.  If Lynn had just told Bud himself we would have been yawning.

 EXLEY
                  I want to know why you see him.
                  Is it a Patchett payoff?

                                LYNN
                  I see Bud because I want to.  I
                  see Bud because he can't hide the
                  warmth he has inside him.

                                EXLEY
                  I'll take your word for it.

                                LYNN
                  I see Bud because he makes me feel
                  like Lynn Bracken and not some
                  Veronica Lake look-alike who fucks
                  for money.  I see him because he
                  doesn't know how to disguise who
                  he is.  There's more if you want
                  to hear it.

        Exley shakes his head.  He's heard enough.

                                LYNN
                  Does all that make it harder for
                  you to hate him or easier?

I am going on a research trip to Italy and won't be posting again until November. Keep writing!

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