Dead Caterpillar

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Screenwriting 101: barfing

Tuesday, Jan 22nd, 2019

Every screenwriter knows that barfing is the easiest way to inject emotion into a scene. Just discovered a rotting corpse? Barf. Just heard about the death of a loved one? Barf. Drank too much? Easy, barf. Barf, barf, barf.


The scene suddenly changes tone. It becomes emotionally charged, gritty, guttural…

Because life just ain’t pretty, man.

And that’s why, for screenwriters, barfing is the greatest discovery since “I’m pregnant.” You want the viewer to take notice. Eliciting any kind of strong emotion is a win, even if that strong emotion is disgust.

Generally, you want to get a good barf in within the first few minutes of an episode or movie. This is a great way to shock the viewer into the plot. “Look, over here! Hey, there’s traumatic stuff going on! This scene is interesting! Look!


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