Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grid Expectations

As the world's foremost empath, I will share with you how telepathy helps in writing fiction.

Whenever I write something for TV or for the big screen - which I may have to add, I have done on SEVERAL occassions - I always consider what the audience expects.

For example, when you put a male and a female character of similar age on screen, I find that most audiences expect the charcters to begin mating. Even if the character is a male robot with an artificial penis or a female android with a vibrating vagina.

This is a challenge, when writing characters into scenes, when I have no intention for them to copulate.

Put a character near a hole, and the audience expects the character to go into the hole.

It all seems like a Freudian lab result, really.

However, defying these expectations can result in much-appreciated humour.

Consider the genius of Charlie Chaplain.

After hundreds of takes with fat women slipping on a banana peel, Chaplain asks for yet another scene with a fat woman and a banana peel.

This time, the fat woman sees the banana peel, steps OVER it - and disappears down a manhole. Tada! Comedy, by means of delivering the unexpected towards a general expected result.

In fact, a lot of comedy is defying expectations. Ben Stiller knows this, but has decided to turn it into an annoying trait for his characters.

Consider 'Trent McIvers', a sixth Backstreet Boy he created. His dialogue goes like, "It was a blessing - not even a blessing in disguise. It was like a blessing saying, 'I'm a blessing and here I am, right in the open.'"

Man, I am so astute.