Christian Blake

 
   

Plosives

 

(scroll down for the essay about plosives)

 

Christian Blake Books

Zippo

Available at Amazon

Zippo shorty story by christian blake

Frank and Nora Riley have lived far too long, and Death is losing patience. He wants their souls. But they’re a crafty old couple. They've dodged him many times before. Can they do it once more?

This is a short story by Christian Blake (approx 3,800 words).

Available at Amazon for 99 cents

One Minute Stories

Available at Amazon

One Minute Stories by Christian Blake

 

 

The Power of Plosives video (forgive the weak lighting on Cheryl.....rookie mistake!)

If you've come to this page, then you must be curious about plosives. Or maybe you've been told you don't have an ear for dialogue? Fear not my fellow writer, for you are about to learn a nifty trick to enrich your words.

If you haven't heard of plosives, you're not alone. Few people know what they are. Outside of a dictionary, only one book has ever mentioned plosives that I know of, and it was a book about giving speeches. The writer gave a short, 2-page explanation on what plosives were and how they could be used to improve public speaking. If I ever remember the name of the book, I'll post it.

I've used plosives to help improve dialogue for close to ten years now. Here is what I've learned:

Say the word "Power" out loud a couple of times. Can you hear the plosive in the "p"? That pocket of air that you create when you voice this word is called a "plosive". If you've ever wondered why a particular word sounds better than another, it's because plosives are pleasing to the ear, and the more plosives a word has, the more powerful a punch it packs.

There are seven letters in the alphabet that can create plosives:

"B" as in Brain.
"C" as in Coward.
"K" as in Kill.
"P" as in Power.
"Q" as in Quill.
"T" as in Trance.
"X" as in Vixen.

Although not technically a plosive, these two are close enough to give your dialogue some extra bite:

"D" as in Dead.
"G" as in Gag.

So, if you've used the word "thief" in your dialogue, or even in your fiction, a much stronger word would be "bandit". "Slut" is stronger than "whore", "blade" is stronger than "knife", "tulip" is stronger than "flower" or even "rose", etc.

"Tulip" is not only a great example of a plosive-packed word, but it also paints a distinct image to the listener/reader, which makes it a valuable tool for any word smith.

Let's look at a few examples of dialogue, starting with one of the strongest quotes I've ever heard on the big screen:

"A wealthy scoundrel seduced and betrayed me." - Ronin.

Not only is this sentence thick with plosives, the words themselves tell an entire story on their own.

In Once Upon A Time In The West, Frank asks Harmonica a few times throughout the movie what his real name is, and Charles Bronson only replies with strong, plosive thick names of dead men:

"Dave Jenkins"
"Calder Benson"
"Jim Cooper"
"Jack YoungBlood"

More examples:

"Dead broad off the table!" - Shrek.

"Touch that gun I'll burn you down!" "Skin that smoke wagon and see what happens!" "I'm getting tired of your gas now jerk that pistol and go to work!" "I beg to differ sir, we started a game we never got to finish. Play for blood, remember?" - all from Tombstone; a movie with countless kick-ass quotes.

"Do I detect a look of disapproval in your eye? Tough beans buddy cuz that's the way it's gonna be!" - Breakfast At Tiffany's.

"Those marks on your dear miss Lucy's neck were made by something unspeakable out there, dead but not dead, that stalks us for some dread purpose I do not yet comprehend. To live it feeds on Lucy's precious blood. It is a beast, a monster." - Dracula.

Yet another movie that is thick with plosive-rich dialogue is A Streetcar Named Desire.

Ever wonder why some people can completely hold your attention when they're chatting with you? Or perhaps they can captivate the attention of an entire audience? Outside of a charming personality, more than likely they are using plosive-heavy dialogue.

Strong character names:

"Porter" - Payback

"Snake Plissken" - Escape From New York

"Trinity" - Matrix

"The Dread Pirate Roberts" - The Princess Bride

If you want to find plosive-heavy names, get a baby name book. Most books have 50,000 names, give or take, and you can pick one up for less than ten bucks. Then go through the book and highlight all the best plosive-packed names. And from there you can print yourself a master list. You'll be surprised at how many 2 and 3 plosive names there are.

For my stories, I give the strong characters equally strong plosive names, and I give the weaker characters names without plosives. In my script The Lucky Yankee, the main characters name is Christian. His sidekick - a vicious, heartbreaking, six-foot tall blond, is named Brittany. The bad guy is named Kurt. The rest of the characters in The Lucky Yankee have single or zero-plosive names.

Say the following sentences out loud:


We got in a fist fight, and I won. (five plosives, nine words)

I beat the crap out of him. (five plosives, seven words)

I split his head open with a baseball bat. (eight plosives, nine words)

I cracked his skull open with Pete's baseball bat.(eleven plosives, nine words).

Read the following passage out loud and then take a look at the plosive breakdown below:

"After I hit that cocksucker six times in the back of the head with Pete's baseball bat, his
skull just split right open and spilled out all those pretty memories right there across the
sidewalk, right smack in front of Blake's bar-b-queue bizarre and Bishop Crispin and
an entire squad of Troop Thirteen's girl scouts that just happened to be out Christmas
Caroling."

"After I hit that cocksucker six times in the back of the head with Pete's baseball bat, his
skull just split right open and spilled out all those pretty memories right there across the
sidewalk, right smack in front of Blake's bar-b-queue bizarre and Bishop Crispin and
an entire squad of Troop Thirteen's girl scouts that just happened to be out Christmas
Caroling". (sixty-five plosives, sixty-three words)

Get the picture? Plosives work. Use them wisely and they will strengthen your writing.

 

The above essay is included in Christian Blake's book: The Seven Moments In Screenwriting That Really Matter. His book teaches about the seven most important moments in storytelling, specifically relating to screenwriting. Withou the seven moments, your story will fail. Use them wisely!

Christian Blake Books

Christian Blake's books are sold exclusively through Kindle.

 

The Seven Moments In Screenwriting That Really Matter

the seven moments in screenwriting that really matter

"There is a secret method to captivating an audience that you don't know about. Screenwriting courses aren't discussing it, and you won't find it in books. Nor will they teach you this method in film school.

You can only learn this information right here, in this book. Keep reading; your screenwriting career depends on it. This information has never been discussed before." - Christian Blake

 

Click Here for More Info

The Seven Moments In Storytelling That Really Matter

the seven moments in storytelling that really matter

This book is for writers.

Stories are told through the Seven Moments. You can't tell a story without them. It's impossible.

This book explains what the Seven Moments are and how to use them within your writing. If you want to learn how to captivate your reader from the first page of your story to its very last, read this book.

 


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The Seven Moments In Storytelling - How To Use Conflict

seven moments in storytelling how to use conflict

This book is for writers. 

This is the second book in the series: The Seven Moments In Storytelling.

Stories are told through the Seven Moments. You can't tell a story without them. It's impossible. This book provides an in-depth explanation on the use of moment #5: Conflict.

This is a work of non-fiction by Christian Blake. This digital book is 4,600 words in length.

Click Here for More Info

 

The Seven Moments In Storytelling - How To Use Reinforcement

the seven moments in storytelling how to use reinforcement

This book is for writers. 

This is the fourth book in the series: The Seven Moments In Storytelling.

Stories are told through the Seven Moments. You can't tell a story without them. It's impossible. This book provides an in-depth explanation on the use of moment #6: Reinforcement.

This is a work of non-fiction by Christian Blake. This digital book is 3,900 words in length.

Click Here for More Info