“Pulp Fiction”: Lessons in Writing Scenes

pulp_fictionWatched “Pulp Fiction” last night. One weird-ass story (one character comes back from the dead, and not for the faint of heart — classic Quentin Tarantino bloodsplattering).

But it has some great scripting that all writers can learn from — whether writing for print or the projector — especially the scene with Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta) eating breakfast at a diner . . .

“PULP FICTION” Script at IMSDb. By Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avary

 INT. COFFEE SHOP – MORNING                Jules and Vincent sit at a booth. . . .

 http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Pulp-Fiction.html

(near the end of the movie, so it’s easiest to find it with a search: CNTL + F)

More on the background of the movie in Vanity Fair . . .

[Linda Chen] knew Tarantino was a “mad genius.” He has said that his first drafts look like “the diaries of a madman,” but Chen says they’re even worse. “His handwriting is atrocious. He’s a functional illiterate. I was averaging about 9,000 grammatical errors per page. After I would correct them, he would try to put back the errors, because he liked them.”

Made for $8.5 million, it earned $214 million worldwide, making it the top-grossing independent film at the time. Roger Ebert called it “the most influential” movie of the 1990s, “so well-written in a scruffy, fanzine way that you want to rub noses in it—the noses of those zombie writers who take ‘screenwriting’ classes that teach them the formulas for ‘hit films.’ ”

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2013/03/making-of-pulp-fiction-oral-history

 

Another revealing piece . . .

“Making the Movie on the Page”: Rare 1992 Interview With Quentin Tarantino for ‘Reservoir Dogs’

http://www.indiewire.com/article/qt-me-rare-1992-interview-with-quentin-tarantino-django-unchained-reservoir-dogs-book-excerpt

 

 

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About Polishing Your Prose

Larry M Edwards is an award-winning investigative journalist, author, editor and publishing consultant. He is the author of three books, and has edited dozens of nonfiction and fiction book manuscripts. Under Wigeon Publishing, he has produced six books. As author, "Dare I Call It Murder? A Memoir of Violent Loss" won First Place in the San Diego Book Awards in 2012 (unpublished memoir) and 2014, Best Published Memoir. The book has also been nominated for a number of awards, including: Pulitzer Prize, Benjamin Franklin Award, Washington State Book Award, and One Book, One San Diego. As Editor, "Murder Survivor’s Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources" won the Gold Award in the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, Self-Help. For a sample edit and cost estimate, contact Larry: larry [at] larryedwards [dot] com -- www.larryedwards.com -- www.dareicallitmurder.com -- www.wigeonpublishing.com
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