Screenwriting : Can Repetition In Your Script Ever Be A Good Thing? by Brad M. Johnson

Brad M. Johnson

Can Repetition In Your Script Ever Be A Good Thing?

I discuss this topic and use THE AVENGRS as an example of a film I think uses repetition in a way to strengthens the narrative. Why does everyone else think?

Alex Sarris

Repetition is terrible. Use "Groundhog Day" for example. The same just keep happening over and over again ??? Oh. Damn. That was what the movie was about !!!!

Mark Souza

Alex brought up perhaps the most skillful use of repetition in film I've seen - Ground Hog Day.- and indeed there is a big payoff. Repetition is just one more tool in a writer's toolbox - like a power saw. But if you don't know what you're doing with a power saw, you could lose a hand. The same with repetition - if you're not experienced, it may not be the first tool you should reach for.

Brad M. Johnson

Kathy - the point of the article isn't as much about repetition of actual scenes (characters saying or doing the same thing multiple times a'la Groundhog Day), but rather the repetition of thematic elements, concepts, ideas, etc. that gain momentum and highlight their importance as they are repeatedly brought up throughout the course of the narrative.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Used wisely, repetition of thematic elements is a great way to set up a big payoff. However, done completely wrong, repetition can become redundancy. And that's a bore.

Felipe Grossi Togni

Repetition is a known element of comedy. So you have to be careful when using this element if you are not looking for gags...

Doug Nelson

It depends on your audience. Theme repetition works if you’re writing pablum for the Homer Simpson audience but I think that a slightly more intellectual crowd expects greater. I give characters echo words or phrases that help identify them - I give them tics too. Neither The Avengers nor Ground Hog hold my attention – so maybe I’m missing something.

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