E04 – Scene Analysis – Dallas Gossett (video, show notes, transcript)

Show Notes

In this episode, we do a Three Story Method Scene Analysis with screenwriter, director, and actor Dallas Gossett, on his short story Grateful.

Dallas’s completed Scene Rubrics:

Dallas is part of Standard Definition Films, and you can find him at:
Instagram: @standarddefinitionfilms
Youtube: Standard Definition (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4hWGWisPNTh8DF01MZCNwA)

Support us on Patreon at https://patreon.com/revisionwizards

The Revision Wizards are at https://www.revisionwizards.com
V.E. Griffith’s website: https://www.vegriffith.com
Miss Catherine M.H.’s website: https://www.scribes-pen.com


Miss Catherine M.H. 0:00
Welcome to the Revision Wizards Podcast. I’m Miss Catherine MH And with me is VE Griffith. This is Episode Four and today we’re going to be sharing a scene analysis that we did.

V.E. Griffith 0:11
Today’s guest is actor, screenwriter and director Dallas Gossett. Dallas joins us from Fort Worth, Texas, and we’re going to discuss his short story Grateful.

Miss Catherine M.H. 0:20
So we had a little trouble with my audio in this one, so please forgive us when you hear it. We managed to clean up most of it. But there are still a couple of bits and pieces on the second half of the episode. Sorry.

V.E. Griffith 0:32
It’s okay. We still love you. This is a fun story. We’re looking forward to sharing with you. So let’s go ahead and get straight into it. Here we go. This is VE Griffith with with Miss Catherine MH. And our guest today is Dallas Gossett Dallas, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dallas Gossett 0:50
Alrighty, first of all, glad to be here. Glad to be a part of the revision wizards podcast, I’m excited. Dallas Gosset’s my name been acting for about 15 to 17 years. About 10 of that was in a professional setting. I went to college and got my Bachelor’s in theater in theatrical performance. I then dabbled in various artworks and different media of artistic expression, one of which is a single short story, which brought me here today. But I went through years of trying to figure out which ways to express myself artistically. And I basically tried to do a little bit of everything. So that’s about sums it up.

V.E. Griffith 1:45
Well, that’s really good. I forgot to ask, by the way, would you please tell us your pronouns?

Dallas Gossett 1:51
I am he him.

V.E. Griffith 1:53
Thank you very much. Okay, so let’s jump into it. What would you want somebody listening to know about this short story before we get started?

Dallas Gossett 2:05
Okay, I guess there’s a couple of things without going too personal or in detail. I was a blocked artist for some years, because there was a difference of being an artist and college and then all sudden having to pay for things like food. So yeah, and you know, there’s these things, these things called roofs that have like apartments or houses under them, and you have to pay for them too. It just became the new focus once I hit the real world. So a couple of years of not being able to express myself and getting kind of stuck in a cubicle of where I just staring at a screen and stressed out and bosses just not feeling me kind of thing. And so one day, I kind of had a few minutes to myself and just opened up a Word document and started typing up, like a block of words. I mean, that’s pretty much what it started off as. I later on went back to it after a little personal tragedy of a broken off engagement, where I then change the ending to make myself feel better, which I’m sure we’re gonna go into talking about. And, but the actual premise is, from studying mythology and folklore, in college, I was fascinated with different cultures and how they do mythology and folklore. Japanese poetry was something I found myself interested in. So I read these poems about, you know, tradesmen, like a fisherman, who would be just randomly going down the river, and all sudden, there’s a beautiful woman wearing a scarf, and she takes a scarf off and takes a bath. And he randomly thinks it’s a good idea to take the scarf, and then go and like say, Hey, you’re gonna be my wife, take her home, raise kids with her and everything, and then all sudden, she like, oh, there’s my scarf, puts it on, and then she goes back to heaven. And then she’s gone. And it’s like, that’s like one of umpteen different Japanese stories. And I just found it this fascinating concept. And so it really was the inspiration news of what the story Grateful began.

V.E. Griffith 4:38
Well, great. Okay. Usually what we do for these is we both Catherine and I have completed a scene rubric and a revision wizard scene rubric that anybody can see get revisionwizards.com And, or at least you can see the blanks. I haven’t I haven’t asked Do you mind if we publish these?

Dallas Gossett 4:59
I mean, Sure, why not? It’s kind of came into this with the kind of ulterior motive of improving myself as a person, because this is first time for me to do anything like this. And to have a professional like editing process is something new and honestly terrifying. Just as a, you know, yes, as a perfectly insecure creative, I was just like, I don’t know if I want you to have my baby. And then now that you have it might as well just go wild. So yeah, I have no, I have no qualms with publishing.

V.E. Griffith 5:40
Okay, great. We’ll put that we’ll put that on the website. And I’ll include the link in the show notes. Nice. So usually what we do is we go through the revision wizard, yeah, the revision wizard, scene rubric, section by section and discuss each section and where we found your work to be based on the outlines in the scene rubric, it gives us a way to be slightly more objective about your work and less, wishy washy about “Well, I didn’t really like it, it didn’t work for me.” That’s not helpful and actionable. So we want to be we want to be helpful and actionable. So Catherine, you want to start it off? Start us off with characters in the scene?

Miss Catherine M.H. 6:27
Yeah, sure. Let me pull up the stuff because I didn’t know we needed it up. I’m great at this, guys. You’re so I will say two things. So I like to come at writing. And like editing stuff from two points of view, what the reader would see. And then what I as an editor would see. So just so you know, so this way, in case you’re curious, give me a minute. It’s loading. I’m sorry, it’s slow. I can start with Jason, I remember him. So let’s see. So Jason is our main character. Um, I personally like to have description of the characters, and I didn’t get too much of him. So I kind of just made up whatever he looked like in my head. Um, his voice was pretty interesting, I think because as you’ll see, throughout the rest of my stuff, he starts off very numb. So the beginning of the story, I think, was very numb and his voice what he’s doing is very numb. And then as he grows, his voice becomes more determined and it becomes more like I’m actually a person and I can be a person. So and that fits into like the emotional and physical state for this character to it goes from being nothing to waking up to being like, do I want to feel things and then being like, I do want to feel stuff. And that’s how I saw his character. Back at you. VE. What did you think?

V.E. Griffith 8:14
To me, he sounded throughout the story, I agree with you about the, about the numbness and the sort of just dragging himself through life. Which considering the very first section, where, you know, his fiancee passes away, is something that could be expected as an emotional reaction. I found him to sound very much like an educated American. Which he is because he’s an architect and we would expect him to have gone to college and learn to learn written communication as part of his skill set. I but I felt like all of the characters pretty well sounded like educated Americans. It’s a condition that our friend the Dialogue Doctor Jeff Elkins calls monomouth where the characters all sound the same. Now I can I can understand that for for Jason, obviously, and for one of the other characters that we’ll get to, but I felt like that was an issue that you know, if we’re speaking in English, Asian people will have a distinctive or can have a distinctive accent to their English and we don’t see any evidence of that in the in the writing that I noticed.

Miss Catherine M.H. 9:48
That was a question I had too. Are they speaking English or

Unknown Speaker 9:52
They do they do speak English and reading earlier what you said, VE, about that that was something that that. I 100% agree with that it is a sense of, basically, this is my voice, basically, for every character and the information, just the words they’re using, instead of addressing the fact that this person wouldn’t have some type of regional specific culture to their voice.

V.E. Griffith 10:26
I did find that our, our romantic interest, Shizuka, her command of English makes a certain amount of sense to me, because of who she is in her origin. And that could be, we could say a magical power that she can make herself understood to anyone that she’s talking to. But for the characters in Jason’s office, you know, even if they are speaking English, they will. And even if they’re well educated, and are fluent in English, if Japanese is their native language, they’ll you know, that’s something that you could put in, in your next editing pass and think about, you know, just look at the look at the manuscript only from the point of view of dialogue, and how do I need to change the dialogue to give each of these characters a unique voice?

Dallas Gossett 11:20
I agree.

V.E. Griffith 11:21
Okay, did you have anything else on voice, Catherine?

Miss Catherine M.H. 11:28
Um, the love interest, her voice at the beginning sounds, to me, I watch a lot of anime. Very typical, like in that submissive Japanese way, at the very start, where she’s just small, little bits, asking little bits of information. And then it kind of just shifts into that everybody’s voice, as she talks more, and you don’t really get to see that that personality that she had was starting, and then just kind of morphed into everybody’s American. Not that she needs to be that submissive style. But that’s where I was like, getting the feeling from having watched so much.

V.E. Griffith 12:16
Okay. Miss Catherine, the next section is protagonist wants and needs. What did you are external pursuits rather? What did you think did? Did the protagonist What did the protagonist want? And did he get it?

Miss Catherine M.H. 12:37
So for his external pursuits I have that he doesn’t want or he wants to save the shrine from being erased. So he knows what it’s like to have something he’s starting to care for, erased. And his want is to like, the external part is all about trying to make sure it gets saved. So kinda because it does, you know, kind of get destroyed, but then he does get to bring it back. So that part is where I’m like, he’s sort of gets to save it.

V.E. Griffith 13:10
Yeah, he does. I rated the, on our underdeveloped, fair, good, excellent scale, I rated the development of the protagonist, external pursuit says between good and excellent, I’m sorry, between fair and good. I’m looking at the screen and I can’t read it. I felt like it was pretty easy to identify what he wanted, the problem that I had was that we went two thirds to three quarters of the way through the story before we could identify it. So it’s a it’s a, it’s a slow burner. It’s a good story, but it’s a slow burner. So you know, that was that was kind of what I thought about, you know about his wanting to save the shrine. It makes sense that he would want to because he’s falling in love with the, with the spirit of the river, basically. But I felt like we didn’t see what his need was from the, the scenes of his sort of pushing his way through life, you know, in his morosity, in his in his depression. I couldn’t see beyond his depression, what his motivation was, other than simply existing and drinking a beer when it gets home.

Miss Catherine M.H. 14:37
And see, I went a little different on that I have it rated as good. And for me, it was that shrine became his waking moment. So it’s when he stepped out of his normal life had taken that step into the shrine and that started the chain reaction of him being like, feelings exist. Things are real. But then when it’s burning, he’s like it’s burning. And like he doesn’t call for help. And I was like, Man, you just watched that burn and you walked home. So for me, that was when I was like, Ooh, that doesn’t match right. Like there’s a river right there start bucketing some water on it, like something. So for me, that was where I think, my that’s why it was good. I was like he was he was going, and then just kind of that I don’t know what happened.

V.E. Griffith 15:34
So the next section is protagonist, internal desires, and do they get it? My read on his internal desire was to find human connection, and love after the death of his fiancee. In terms of how we’d rate this on the rubric, I rated it between underdeveloped and fair. I felt like his the story didn’t explore his need for human connection. It was simply assumed that he needed it, I felt like that is sort of beyond a single scene with the with the water spirit, his life changes after her touch. But beyond that his internal motivations are never explored. Why is he in Japan in the first place? You know, because we found out early in the story that or somewhere in this story, remember if it was earlier, not that she died in the United States. So if their plan was to go to Japan together? Why did he go by himself? Why would he have gone by himself? What what, you know, that’s a little backstory that we can add, that will add some color to the character, and give us a hint about his motivations. Now, maybe he was just trying for, you know, the geographic cure and running from his problems, and that’s fine. But some of some discussion of that would I think be warranted. Catherine?

Miss Catherine M.H. 17:07
So my internal desire for this character was the need to wake up, it wasn’t even about having a connection with a person, it was just connecting again. So even just like waking up was my idea of what his internal need was. So it wouldn’t have mattered if it was a friend. If it was a spirit woman. I feel like he just needed that wake up, to pull himself out of that. So that’s why I rated this section as good. The only thing I had was that he’s going through such a good amount of growth. But and then the story kind of cuts in places where you’re like, Well, what happened during that section? And then you don’t really see it, you just see, oh, look, he’s grown. Did he or how did he grow? So that’s where my part was.

Dallas Gossett 18:07
Actually, uh, this is the part that like, I myself as getting a little too close to being Jason in the story in real life at that time, like, didn’t have an aim. So admittedly, it is a little bit of A, little bit of B, where it is a sense of wanting a semblance of what they had before. What Jason wanted, it was that connection, that love. But at the same time, even though it’s briefly touched on, you’re absolutely right about it needs to be fleshed out or like, you know, had some meat put onto it was a co worker asking to go out for a drink. And he has almost like a quick nod, and then a passerby of like, Hey, you still go for that drink when the coworkers surprised. Like, that’s the kind of what it’s touched on. So it’s a sense of connecting anyway, that really is the Jason wants to connect with not only other people but to himself. And that’s kind of like you said, it’s a slow burner. And I rereading it because it’s been a while I wrote it some years ago. It really does have the sense of where I believe I was trying to show what monotony felt like. The problem with that is that it’s hard to read, in that sense. But the idea was that grief and despair can drag life to where time stops, time is an enemy, that time is just cruel. And so this desperate clawing to be present in the moment being present period, I believe is kind of helped the desired effect.

V.E. Griffith 20:14
Okay, that makes sense. The next section is the force of antagonism or the antagonist. In this story, I felt like Katsu, one of Jason’s co-workers is the antagonist because he wants to destroy the shrine, and we find through admission that he did destroy the shrine. The problem that I had and I rated the antagonist external wants to be underdeveloped was that there’s no explanation for why. The most obvious explanation is that mowing the thing down will save money on on building the building a mall which is fine, but then when an opportunity arises to both protect the shrine rebuild the shrine and save money arises he doesn’t take it he wants to destroy the shrine anyway. So I didn’t understand what his motivation was for that either as an internal need or as an as an external need. And so I honestly wound up writing both is as are underdeveloped, because he comes across in that way. And because of that as just sort of a mustache twirling villain, and we don’t have any, we don’t have any sense of why that is. So you know. [Audio problem at this point.]

Okay, we’re back. And Catherine, is your turn on the antagonists external and internal pursuits?

Miss Catherine M.H. 22:00
Yes. So wait, the protagonist or antagonist?

V.E. Griffith 22:04

Miss Catherine M.H. 22:05
Okay, cool. So the antagonist, um, I want to say his name’s Katsu, Katsu. Um, so that would be the person I would consider the antagonist. And I put for the external wants. It was a fair, because like, he was kind of villain like, and that’s, that’s all we don’t really have anything else on what he was like, besides just he was a villain. Okay. He wants to do something, but we don’t really know why he wants the the position or why he’s so angry at Jason about it. There is the we don’t know what their dynamic was like before he was no longer numb. So we don’t know. If he was just like, Okay, I’ll do the work you say. And yes, I follow you. And then suddenly, he’s pushing back. And he’s like, Excuse you. So I felt like his external wants were very. He’s, he’s the villain, and we get it. And then his internal needs, I put as underdeveloped because I can’t see them. Besides that he wants power. And I think that was all we get from that. Which is fine, because I’m like, it’s a short story. We don’t really need the internal wants and needs of a person. But I think having more of the external of why is this powerplay happening, kind of more important to the story.

Dallas Gossett 23:48
You actually, because I today, kind of read a little bit of both of your edited copies of the work, which, once again, exciting, and thank you for doing like, that’s great. And I was telling this to be earlier that the fact that he’s kind of left side of the brain, you’re kind of right side of the brain or whichever. Like you both kind of come at this differently. You inspired an idea, because, truth, truth be known. It’s just I wanted a ladder climber to be in the way an obstacle and that the grief itself was the antagonist, which so like, by your editing, by your, your ideas, I was because you brought up the Catherine talked about the meeting, and how like, you can’t zone out in the meeting. Like that’s, that’s totally disrespectful. And I never thought of it culturally. I just thought of if I’m numb I zone out. But I believe that there was an opportunity that going forward and the next pass will be that the me meeting will reveal that there is opening for new partnership and team leads will be looked at. So Katsu being a team lead, this would be something that he gets glory, this is be a way for him to climb the corporate ladder. And then now someone coming from outside briefly, you know that he’s only been there a little over a year, and he’s going to steal that spotlight. And so the internal wants then would be basically that he wants more money and more power, and then how that his motivations would be kind of unseen. But I do like, now, it makes so much more sense because at the time, and he said it just I just had him as a vaudevillian and just kind of like, yes, I want to foil the plans. So he admittedly underdeveloped.

Miss Catherine M.H. 25:56
There is something about that zoning meeting or getting feedback. Sorry, that was interesting to me that if they’re speaking Japanese, and he’s not as fluent, it could bridge that gap of him zoning because of the fact that he’s like, I can’t even keep up with how fast they’re speaking. Because native speakers will talk fast. It’s just natural, because that’s how they talk. versus someone who is the second language are still trying to pick up on it. And he’s only been in Japan for two years,

Dallas Gossett 26:33
I believe it’s like

Miss Catherine M.H. 26:35
427 days is what I saw was the the amount of time he’s gone through the metal detector. Yes.

Dallas Gossett 26:42

Miss Catherine M.H. 26:43
So you could have it where he’s only picking up small bits of this, because they are talking so fast. So he would just be like, Okay, I am present, I am trying to understand you. We’ll get there eventually.

Dallas Gossett 26:57
Which then yeah, because if he’s number four going down there, it didn’t make sense for him to get the job. And that kind of dawned on me after we said that, oh, yeah, like he wouldn’t get a job at such a high end place if he wasn’t good at what he does. So that maybe that makes more sense that the meeting builds conflict.

V.E. Griffith 27:14
And you may, you know, you don’t really discuss his age. So he may have had previous experience in Japan, he may already be a fluent speaker, something like that. But we need some background explanation, because if he’s only been in country for months, you know, he’s, he’s gonna get hammered. And he’s not, you know, there’s going to be a certain amount of, of very famous Japanese cultural racism, you know, that, that, you know, he’ll need to overcome somehow. And it won’t just be through his being polite and obsequious. It will be, you know, there’ll be something, there’ll be something else there that will get him the necessary respect that he has, you know, commensurate with his position.

Dallas Gossett 28:03
Yeah, true.

Miss Catherine M.H. 28:05
And again, we also don’t know what he looks like, either. We don’t know if he’s maybe Japanese American. So he’s, it’s easier for him to transition because he does have similar looks to people. There is the one comment that Katsu makes I can’t even pronounce what it was, but I’m assuming he was calling him an outsider. And I was like, okay, cool. But other than that, I don’t know. Besides, he’s an outsider or besides, he’s an American, what else they had referred to with that.

Dallas Gossett 28:36
It does refer to being a Caucasian. That particular word, gaijin, is basically like you, American outsider. And has different connotations in different ways. But that’s basically in this connotation it was you, outsider from America. I real quick on characters, I realized today that my experiences as an actor and reading scripts, is that scripts are left, more or less especially in theater, kind of as a skeletal structure that’s supposed to be used in different varying ways. So they leave out a lot of details that you just can’t leave out in novels or short stories, and it’s something that I I’m seeing a lot more in especially today kind of prepping for the podcast just going oh, yeah, this is. This is definitely written by someone who wrote like, who writes theater scripts, like, oh, yeah, you they’ll figure it out when they see it. But it’s like, oh, no, they’re reading it. And so that was a interesting kind of looking at it from a reverse engineering way. Because it’s like, basically, it’s the equivalent of writing a book from a movie. And I’m realizing that that’s not as easy as just reverse engineer.

V.E. Griffith 30:03
And that makes a certain amount of sense. Because if your experience is enacting and in reading and writing screenplays and theater stuff, a lot of that kind of character development is something the actor is going to bring. As opposed to what’s written on the page. Whereas with an, with a short story or a novel, the author has to bring that because the reader is not going to fill it in, you know, so that that lack makes a certain amount of sense, given the you know, your experience and your, you know, your writing experience. And hopefully, you know, if you try this form more often, you can be more aware of that difference. So,

Dallas Gossett 30:45
yes, I think I will, I think, I think this particular story can grow, and I’d like to see it grow.

V.E. Griffith 30:52
I would, too, I actually, I, I had a hard time with the story in terms of my editing skills and my editing judgment, but I liked the story. I think that I think that it’s, it’s certainly worth pursuing and, you know, maybe worth publishing. So I think it’s, I think it’s really neat. So, okay.

Miss Catherine M.H. 31:14
as the reader side it had it had stuff to it, that was good. And then when you’re looking at it as alright, here’s the craft writing side, you’re like, okay, now we can pick it apart. But as the reader, you’re like, yeah, I get this. And you can see, as a reader, a few of those bullet points, were those would be things in the screenwrite, where it’s like, this is here, this is here, this is here, you need to have those there. So this way they can interact. And they were occasionally descriptions where you’re like, here, here, here, and you’re like, you could just say it was all in one spot.

V.E. Griffith 31:49
Yeah. All right, Catherine, you go first, what about the conflict?

Miss Catherine M.H. 31:56
So I’m trying to remember what I wrote, since I no longer have it up in front of me. Let’s see the conflict. So I had the conflict. How about you go first?

V.E. Griffith 32:08
Okay, my, my take on the conflict was how to save the shrine. And the problem that I had with that was that he doesn’t face any kind of event that throws him out of his depression, for the first whole quarter of the story. So there’s no inciting incident, that’s going to grab the reader by the throat and drag them through the story. And there needs to be and I don’t know, in context, what that needs to be. That’s in some ways, up to the author to come up with. But his fiance’s death is not represented as an inciting incident, it doesn’t drive him to make a choice. Since he was the fiancee and not the, not the husband, we know that he was not the one who made the decision to turn off her life support, because that’s not how it works in the United States, it would have been her parents or her next of kin, and he was not that person. But sort of no event pushes him out of his humdrum until it’s way too late in the story for that to have happened. This needs to be an act one, you know, an act one scene one or scene to kind of thing, it does not need to be, you know, I triple spaced the manuscript. So it came out at 54 pages. And I noted that the first event that sort of gives him a kick is on page 14. And so you know, that’s a quarter of the way through the story. So it does spark some creativity. And that’s when he realizes the shrine is going to get demolished. Now, it does spark some creativity, but it doesn’t really it doesn’t really represent some kind of a personal growth or struggle. So that was the problem that I had. I rated the story, I rated it, the conflict is fair, because it is there, but it’s not fast enough. And it’s and it’s not strong enough. For me the fire was the big event that gives him the kick in the pants to get the story moving, but that’s three quarters of the way through the story. So I don’t know necessarily that you need to move the fire to the beginning of the story. But there needs to be some some moment when you know when he has when he sees that conflict and begins a struggle of some kind

Miss Catherine M.H. 34:40
I pulled mine up so I’m now ready.

V.E. Griffith 34:48
There we go.

Miss Catherine M.H. 34:52
The conflict starts with the moment he realizes the shrine is the location of the mall. I feel like so I marked it as fair, because it’s just him being like, Oh, shit, it’s here. And he’s like, great. So I’ve got to take some pictures of this. Oh, she’s talking again. And it feels like because he was zoned out in that meeting, that conflict fell short, if we had had pieces where he was catching some stuff, where he was like, Okay, we’re trying this thing. I don’t really know exactly where they’re talking about. I’m just trying to follow. And then he’s like, Oh, shit, it’s here, then I think that that conflict would fall more, because that’s the starting of his really like realizing his location and where he is. Also a side note, if he was to look at that picture, is she in it? Because if she’s a spirit, I want to know if she’s in the picture.

Dallas Gossett 35:59
Oh, yeah, I, I left it. Because it is, like I said, more of a short film in my head. And how my writing comes across it is a sense of that was something that I left ambiguous on purpose, was like, Do anyone see her? Does anyone actually see her except for him? And so as an author, you have to know these things. And since I’m now knowing it, like this moment, improv, I would say, No, I’m gonna say that, that they can’t, you can’t see it. And yes, yes, I think, I think looking at this now as an adult who has healed from the trauma that they went through that like, inspired the ending, to like, make myself feel better. I think that it would be of more interest to have her be pretty much invisible before the fact that she’s not actually present. And it’s something that is more on a spiritual level, or the fact that he has the ability to not be seen. But leave that kind of question in the mind of the reader. I think on the next one to 1700 passes of editing.

V.E. Griffith 37:40
I understand. I just I have that problem with my own writing. So don’t feel bad, you’re not unique. So

Dallas Gossett 37:51
That makes me feel so much better. Not unique or special. So that helps.

V.E. Griffith 37:56
You’re not, I, your writing is good. But you’re not, you’re not unique, yeah. What, Catherine, what did you have?

Miss Catherine M.H. 38:08
I said, Look, you did need those tissues.

V.E. Griffith 38:10
There you go. Okay, now, what did you have for the choice?

Miss Catherine M.H. 38:17
So his choice is to confront Katsu and challenge his authority. For me, that was his choice, I put it as fair, because almost all of it is done off screen. So you get that he’s like, Hey, I know you set this fire. And then you’re like, Okay, nothing. And then all of a sudden, like, his boss is like, Hey, you’re teaming up with him? And you’re like, why? Where did that even come from? And he’s like, I know you. I’m gonna set fire to it again. And then nothing. You’re like, so we know he recorded it. But what happened? So I feel like there’s pieces that are missing that could really help the reader know the big, like, Haha, he had that recorder. But it was kind of like, oh, he had a recorder. How did he know he was gonna confront him? Was he so sure? Like, how long has that recorder been playing in his pocket? Like, it just been going all morning. So things like that, I think would help bring that up from the fare that I have it in.

V.E. Griffith 39:33
I also ranked it. I also ranked it as fair. The issue for me was that what choice there is in terms of approaching management with the idea of rebuilding the shrine is not difficult. It is not gut wrenching. It does not, it is not the difference between two awful choices or two irreconcilable good choices. You know, the best bad choice or the irreconcilable good. It’s just, it feels, it feels obvious to me. Because of course he would he wants to save the shrine. But what is his personal risk in trying to do? So? Is there some personal risk? If there is, it’s not explored. Is there some risk to the company? If there is it’s not explored. What makes this choice difficult is what we need to know and what we need to see on the page. And he needs to struggle with it. So that’s, that’s what I that’s, that’s where I went with, with the conflicts or with the choice section.

Miss Catherine M.H. 40:45
And more than that numb feeling because he goes back into being that numb and then is immediately like, ricochets back to the other direction, with almost nothing besides, hey this guy with a scar on his face set a fire. So I feel like there was that a bit of, there’s no reason for him to suddenly be like, Haha, I should have done this all along been like, why don’t we do it this way and see how this works? Because how did he get this job?

Dallas Gossett 41:17
Yeah, that was my question all this like, oh, he has to be good at this, right. Like, I forgot that, you know, that is described as like the top firm. And there’s like a high end thing. So I’m looking at it with the notes given to like the edited copies of both of you, I believe that there was more power in the meeting that I gave a credit that this meeting could set up power to be grabbed by Katsu and some type of risk. Because if, if an underling is going to overrule, or go around the team lead, this is going to be risking reputation, this is going to be risking possibly his job. And then, you know, at the same time is and probably the direction I’m looking at after this would be in the sense of the choice would be the job and and this Hail Mary have a relationship with some strange woman at a shrine. And so this would be the sense of the fire or being maybe even possibly, like, protesting openly standing out there. And being an activist against building the mall in general. Something to like this would be a sense of this would be the end of everything he’s known. And so the risk of being what you were for the reward of being something that, of connection. So I think that’s the direction I’ll be going in the sense of building up the meeting and building up Katsu’s power, his worth even in the company, like as of now I have him as a sniffling you know, weasel who just like the boss, like Yeah, shut up. And, but the reality is he got there for a reason. And kind of give that weight, I think going forward. Obviously haven’t 100% thought it through in the last like two hours since I read your edits. But I think going forward with the idea of the choice being luxury or life, worth or net worth.

V.E. Griffith 43:54
And the thing to remember about Katsu is that he is the he is the hero of his own story, and he’s going to act in that way. So and that and that, that rub between Katsu and Jason is what’s going to drive your story. That’s where the story is, is there is there antagonism between one another. For consequence, I rated the consequence to be fair, again, because the choice was easy. And it was it was simple, straightforward, easy because there wasn’t a gut wrenching choice to make and there was also no consideration which I understand for a short story, but there was no consideration of coming battles. Because this is not the end. Katsu is not going to take this lying down. You know, that is not that is not even if he’s just mustache twirling. That’s not what he’s going to do. So and that’s, and that’s why I you know, that’s why I I ranked it fair, as opposed to, you know, some other choice. So Catherine,

Miss Catherine M.H. 45:08
My consequences also ranked as fair, and it is, in my opinion is the shrine will be rebuilt. So he not only gets the position, but he sort of gets the girl. In a strange way, it’s very predictable. It’s exactly the kind of what the reader would want to happen, though. So they’re sitting there. And after having read through some of this, they’re like, yeah, he better not burn this plays down again. And then you’re like, cool, he got it, and they’re gonna rebuild it. And look at that she’s smiling again. And I really did enjoy that twist, where he tells her the same line that she did. So that part I really liked. And I was like, Yeah, so for me, it was very, very predictable ending, because so much was left off of the page that you’re like, that’s exactly the ending, I expect it to happen.

Dallas Gossett 46:03
dAlright, and admittedly, when kind of as a revealed and mentioned a couple of times, the ending was kind of an odd therapy. And it was a sense of like, I want this ending. So when it was a block of just words, in a nearly incoherent stream of thought, I just like, Alright, I need to make sure that the ending says this, and then have a catchy phrase or something, you know, that’s kind of how I think was being you know, raised in the 90s. Everything has to have a catchphrase, so. And so that was kind of the build up, but then just, I guess, I noticed is that is kind of an impatience, like, Okay, let’s get to the, let’s get to the warm and fuzzy. And that was kind of the therapy is like, I’m gonna get to warm and fuzzy, quick in life. So I want to get quick in the story. But looking at it, these last couple days, or the last little, couple, few hours, even is the idea of readers kind of don’t want to be told, or at least I, as a reader, don’t want to be told, like everything of the ending. And I want the i i want it to be a sense of hope. But not all right, oh, hey, I get everything. Oh, I, here’s my cake. And oh, I get to eat some too. And it’s like, it was a little bit predictable, predictable is definitely a good way of putting it. And when I watch movies, I always call it a Hollywood ending. Because it was just like the idea of like we write off in the sunset. And also we find a puppy and there’s a million dollars in my hand for some reason, and I get the girl, it’s just I think Katsu is just like in a ball and chain like old school with like stripes on him. Because like, chipping away at a rock in a jail, like, I realized that this feel good. Something I was told a while back or kind of came up in conversation with short films and writing kind of was true hope, real hope comes out of real suffering. And I think that needs to be more of what the story needs to kind of hold is that there’s no real suffering in this. Basically, the idea of he had a fight with his pseudo girlfriend. And that’s not a lot of total total despair. So that I think with this conversation in your kind of things that you’ve written your notes, that was definitely I think the new direction, this would go.

V.E. Griffith 48:49
Well, good. Okay, now we’ve reached the mechanical portion of the of the rubric. So the first section of that is showing versus telling. I rated the showing versus telling aspect is fair. And now I understand that that’s that is coming from the the screenplay angle here. As far as I could, as far as I can remember, and I made a couple of changes to give examples of this in the manuscript and my track changes. We don’t see any of Jason’s internal thought he doesn’t think to himself at all, he does not matter. He doesn’t talk under his breath. We it’s an opportunity to hear character voice, and we need that. You know, and so there and there isn’t any. There were several instances where we did exposition about the characters feeling when we could have done that as thought or as its internal dialogue. And I feel like anytime we have the opposite for a character to tell us how they feel, or to wrestle with a problem. It should be done with internal dialogue, as opposed to narration. So, Catherine, what do you think?

Miss Catherine M.H. 50:13
Um, so I rated it between fair and good. So as I put some of the bullet formations, if we were to clean that section up would land it more in the good section. I didn’t mind personally that there wasn’t any internal dialogue. I mean, it’s a short story. I don’t read too many short stories, but from the ones I have read, there isn’t too much internal dialogue. And especially because we’re seeing the the blankness, like, I could tell those moments of he’s waking up and noticing stuff. And you do go through descriptions of him sort of waking up, which is enough for me to be like, that was pretty cool. Sometimes you repeat it, though. And that part, I was like, we already went through all of the subway and his entire routine for the morning. We don’t need it, repeat it again, unless something is drastically changing. And the only thing that was changing was the television stayed off. So I feel that that section needs to be cleaned up a little bit. And I liked the the amount of blankness where you could tell the world was around him and he wasn’t paying attention to he starts paying attention. So maybe a bit more description later. To expand on that would be nice.

Unknown Speaker 51:42
Yeah, that was actually gonna be my question, I was gonna actually ask you two that, like his idea of have that be a kind of mechanical way of nodding at the same kind of awake, because like when you talked about him being awake. I think that is something that I want Jason to, to enjoy. Because I think in the beginning, he doesn’t want to talk to himself. Because I didn’t like talking to myself, in my, you know, the inspiration of that trauma. So I liked the idea of it growing, the internal monologue growing because then the idea of like, you want to talk to yourself, then other people will talk to you in the sense of growing and shame on me forgetting his name, I think it’s Haru was the co worker. No, Haru was the leader. Well, he has a co worker. And I want to see guys night out, like after us talking about connection, everything, like I’ve realized that there was an opportunity for these guys going and drinking. And this can be revealing, continuing either conflict, character development or awakening, whatever it is that this is the beginning of a real connection of human beings, literally human beings instead of whatever Shizuka is. So I think that is a fair assessment of how that works. Because I think Jason was written as a role to be played on a stage or on a film. So I never dawned on me to give him a face, a hairline, hopefully one better than mine. But, but just the idea of it being a complete human being, you know, not as something that would be different compared like, depending on the company or the film studio that would portray it, it would be no, this is what they are. And then you experience that as a reader.

Miss Catherine M.H. 54:01
It reminds me a lot of that movie now that I can’t remember the name of it that the town is black and white. And as things start shifting, and changing splashes of color start to come in and people start noticing that colors there.

Dallas Gossett 54:17
Is that Pleasantville? I don’t know if that’s Pleasantville because I know pleasant isn’t black and white. But I know the movie you’re referring to.

Miss Catherine M.H. 54:26
And then it’s all color in the end because they’ve all like woken up. That reminds me of this where he’s just going through stuff and like things are starting to pop out to him. And then it finally gets into that that picture of like wow, there’s there’s a world outside my brain.

Dallas Gossett 54:43
Yeah. Yeah. Outside of a six pack of beer and frozen dinners.

Miss Catherine M.H. 54:48
Yes. And breakfast.

V.E. Griffith 54:51
What about showing versus telling Catherine? I’m sorry. We just did that, didn’t we?

Miss Catherine M.H. 54:56
We did mechanics into showing versus telling, ya.

V.E. Griffith 54:59
Okay, passive I’m sorry, um, I’m still looking at the old, at the previous page. Passive voice.

Miss Catherine M.H. 55:05
Yeah, so I also put this into the fair good, because we do start off with that blank zone into, we’re now being more active. Granted, a lot of it’s off of the page, but you there is some movement. So I feel like it will get better. So right now it’s between that fair, in the beginning, you’re like, Alright, cool, nothing’s happening to this poor dude, he’s clearly not wanting anything to happen. And then as stuff starts to happen, it should become more active.

V.E. Griffith 55:40
I found that the use of passive voice was fair in this one. There’s a, that makes a certain amount of sense in the beginning, when we’re talking about him being dreary and depressed, and, you know, passive voice might actually be appropriate for that. But toward the end, we really need to work toward active voice. And one of the things that I found was that you can, you can recast the sentence, such that the noun appears before the verb. And when you do that, you get, you get much more active sentences. You didn’t have a lot of my favorite word was, which is great. But you still, you still can work on the voice at appropriate times in the, in the manuscript that can help you with your manuscript pacing, and with your emotional tone, which are, you know, necessary skills that actually we probably ought to add to the rubric at some point. But you know, that’s, that’s kind of where that’s kind of where I fell was that a lot of the a lot of the passive voice can be fixed through fixing the showing versus telling too, because he’s going to be actively thinking, he’s going to be actively engaging with his feelings with his thoughts. And that will, you know, that will fix a lot of the passive voice too.

Miss Catherine M.H. 57:11
And the passive part with this also felt like in the beginning, things are happening to him. And then it should start to flip where he’s doing stuff because things are happening. And then he’s doing things to change things. So then that gets that active narrative through that numb phase that you want to eventually get out of. So everything’s happening to him, he’s not making any choices, that’s kind of passivity, he starts to make choices because he’s realizing things and then he’s actively trying to change things is I think how that passive part with the the numb section would work for you.

Dallas Gossett 57:57
I think, I mean, I definitely agree. I, we mentioned earlier about or about a new direction of worth versus net worth, in that he making a choice of being a part of an activist movement, something of towards even if it is simply standing in front of the bulldozer, not obviously not quite literally, but in the sense of that that it’s taking a stand which would be the very much active him standing physically against whatever change would be then. Ergo putting his career on the back burner or possibly losing it, like sacrificing it for this the shrine slash girl.

V.E. Griffith 58:45
All righty, the last sentence of, the last section of the rubric is sentence structure. I rated this one between good and excellent with tie going to good. I am very critical of sentence structure, of correct grammar. Yes, Catherine is nodding her head. I felt like the story showed a very good command of standard written English, which is necessary for something to be legible to a reader. If the reader is having to get through comma splices and sentence problems and you know, run on sentences that makes it that much harder for the reader to understand and stay in the story. So I really felt that this was actually pretty good. I made a fair number of changes, but not so many that that I would think that it’s it’s really a problem.

Miss Catherine M.H. 59:52
So disclosure, I’m dyslexic, so the spelling and the grammar doesn’t quite pull to me. So I rated this as excellent because it was easy for me to read through. I didn’t have to stop and be like, Oh, what’s happening through here? Or be like, Wait, what is that word? The only spelling I actually caught was the name of the company. And I don’t know why that’s the only one that like stuck out to me. But you only spell it with the dashes over the O’s once and then from there on. I was like, it’s not the rest of them. And I don’t know why that stuck out so much to me.

Dallas Gossett 1:00:31
Okay, it admittedly, today, I was like, what the E and I are in the same place each time. Totally. I totally missed the dash. I totally forgot about that. That accent to it. That’s really funny, because I’m like, I don’t understand. It’s it’s S-E-I-K-O. And I just kept on looking for the EI because like, I’m like, Oh, I may have switched them. No, that makes way more sense. Now,

Miss Catherine M.H. 1:00:54
That was the only thing that I was like, dude, man, why am I noticing this? So for me, I thought it was excellent. It was an easy read through for me, I didn’t have to stop and pause much. There was one spot that I marked out for you that I was like, I had to read …

Dallas Gossett 1:01:14
The edit of that is way smoother. And I like it a lot better, too. Because it was admittedly I wrote it full on as like the parentheses on a script. Like it was definitely like a like a kind of thing that I was trying to verbalize is like, Well, how would I act this out? Instead of just saying what actually happens?

Miss Catherine M.H. 1:01:40
So for me, I thought it was very smooth, coming from the it’s hard to read sometimes zone. So thanks for that. And it was good.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:48
No, thank you.

V.E. Griffith 1:01:51
I thought that I thought the changes that are needed are simple and straightforward. And they’re not. They’re not a big deal. So

Dallas Gossett 1:01:57
I read more I had to read through your edit the and I it really is like syntax, I noticed that it’s like things could be a little crisper. Just I tend to think in prepositional phrases instead of adjectives. So it’s something like that. I’m like, Oh, that makes way more sense. Instead of saying in Japan, you can just say Japanese, then like, oh, that’s super simple. And I noticed that’s kind of a trend. And I don’t know why I have like such an archaic like, you know, like, instead of saying, oh, Bakerson, I’m a son of a baker. So just Yes, that makes way more sense. And I like and I’m looking forward to going.

V.E. Griffith 1:02:46
Okay, well, that’s great. All right. We’re kind of running long. So we need to, we need to sort of get it going. Do you have any last minute thoughts, Catherine?

Miss Catherine M.H. 1:02:55
I was gonna say since you like the acting part. And that’s part of you. Act out some of those motions, and some of those things and then write out what you’re doing. Even if it’s bullet point, then you can make it smooth. So because you’re writing it from the, here’s the blank, the actor’s going to do it, then go act it. And then you’ll be able to write down that experience of this is what it would be.

Dallas Gossett 1:03:19
That’s a great idea. That’s a great idea. Thank you. Great.

V.E. Griffith 1:03:24
Alrighty, and I just thought I thought overall, this is a good story. This is an excellent start. As we’ve discussed, it needs work. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be worked. It is not a waste of time. It’s not a waste of effort. And it’s you know, this is something that I would like to read in the future. So there we go.

Dallas Gossett 1:03:41
Thank you guys so much for your time and all the work you put into it. So I literally edit this and share this with you when it’s a little bit more mature.

V.E. Griffith 1:03:54
Great. All right, Dallas, where can our listeners find you on the internet?

Dallas Gossett 1:03:58
Okay, as I mentioned, I am an actor. I also made my directorial debut this year I directed a short film, I am in involved with heavily a company down in Austin named standard definition films. They can be reached primarily through two means Instagram, their name is Standard Definition Films. And then on YouTube, it is Standard Definition. But the link to the YouTube is best really found on the Instagram. So kudos to them also because their first feature this year is going to be recognized and selected for two different film festivals, the stuff Texas and the Austin action fest. So I am in that film, part time killer. And, and so yeah, you can you’ll be seeing me on the screen next couple of years quite a bit. If you where to look.

Miss Catherine M.H. 1:05:04
And there we have it. We hope you learned a little bit of the three C’s and enjoyed our conversation with Dallas. That’s it for today’s episode.

V.E. Griffith 1:05:11
You can find us online at revisionwizards.com. And you can find me at vegriffith.com.

Miss Catherine M.H. 1:05:15
And you can find me at scribes-pen.com And don’t forget that if you want to be an original member of the revision wizards community, you can join us at patreon.com/revisionwizards. Stay Magical!

V.E. Griffith 1:05:31

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