Surprise, but never lie

Roff

I recently saw the following advice from filmmaker and screenwriter Don Roff posted on the Facebook page of the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards:

Always mystify, torture, mislead and surprise the audience as much as possible. — Don Roff

Although I agree with the sentiment, I don’t think it is complete (Note: I was unable to locate the source of the quote to learn if Roff said more on the subject). Thus, I offer the following codicil:

Mislead and surprise, but NEVER lie to your audience. Everything must be possible within the context of the universe you have built in your story. If you lose the trust of the audience, you’ve lost them forever.

Words

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Words.

They flow so easily from your lips.

Momentary sounds of normalcy

That hold no meaning.

They change nothing,

They hide the sepsis

That slowly builds,

Pressing ever harder

Into our every morning.

I’m no better.

Eyes wrinkle in amusement,

Thoughts emerge, wrapped in softness,

Trying to hide the harshness

That lies beneath, barely hidden.

Cold feelings disguised in warm notes.

And all I can think

As I stare across the table;

The only true feeling inside

Is a solitary echo:

I can’t do this anymore.

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