[Quick Summary: Elliot Ness and his Untouchables try to take down Al Capone.]
How do you make a reader FEEL?
I've forgotten how.
Then I read this script, and it reminded me about the classic "hope-fear" sequencing.
You know what? It really works.
ex. 1 - "Ness unwraps the part of his lunch wrapped in the calendar page. He laughs.
NESS: Ha! (he holds it up) Message from my wife.
The calendar sheet. Mrs. Ness has written on it: "I am very proud of you."
ex. 2 - [Then five pages later] Ness' hand comes out of the pocket with a book of matchees and a folded piece of paper. He unfolds is slowly. It is the note from his wife which reads, "I am very proud of you.""
Ex. 1 - Ness is cheered by his wife's note (hope).
Ex. 2 - After a big defeat, that same note makes him feel like a big disappointment (fear).
Very effective, no?
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: If you're stuck, try out "hope-fear-hope-fear."
The Untouchables (1987)
by David Mamet