Here’s an example I heard Ben Percy give. Two people at a dinner table are discussing something totally mundane, like say, the weather. But the writer reveals that underneath the table is a dead body. Immediately the dialogue takes on new meaning. Why aren’t they talking about the dead body in the r…
Holly Lyn Walrath
If I’m not mistaken, this idea came from Hitchcock. He said, take a bunch of men and put them in a room sitting around the table, talking about sports or something. Let the audience know that there is a ticking bomb under the table. Then let them know which one of those men know about it. That’s suspense.
Thank you for this, Holly! Really good tips, and yes, it is really hard to tell someone if they made a big mistake, or their writing sucks, but it’s necessary. Otherwise, we never improve.