Saturday, I woke up at a fairly reasonable hour (this defined as being around 10 A.M.) to attend a Writer’s Track panel on characterization through dialogue. The advice given was sound: show, don’t tell (unless you’re Charles Dickens and can tell in a very interesting and descriptive way); write out personal histories for your characters to get a sense of what they would and wouldn’t say in various situations; try to make your conversations mini-conflicts, if you can, with each character subtlety at odds; read your dialogue out loud; and don’t be afraid to use dialects, but at the same time, use them sparingly and do your research. Oh, and author Brad Strickland is funny.
Actually, the last was my personal observation. He definitely received the biggest laughs from the assembled, particularly when he wished out loud that Yoda, before his epic light saber duel, had said, “Off me now you have pissed!”
And with that, I’ve covered all of the Writer’s Track events I attended, which is something of a disappointment to me because I found that group interesting and vibrant as a whole. It’s the best track I kept missing because of conflicts with other tracks.
After watching Brad Strickland be funny, I trekked off to the Centennial once again to watch Virginia, Raelee, and Gigi be funny. Naturally, right off the bat, Raelee was asked how she felt when it was revealed to her that her character was the Scarran traitor, and her reaction can basically be summed up as, “WTF?” This launched a discussion about how crazy script writing on the Farscape set was in general, with script amendments coming down the pike daily in “every color of the rainbow” and God help you if you had the wrong color while you were trying to shoot a scene. “We learned never to learn our lines with the first draft,” said Virginia.
Also inevitably, the girls were asked to share all the dirt on the guys, but their comments were, alas, incredibly tame. Anthony Simcoe, they said, “can’t do a take without being a cheeky little bugger.” Virginia Hey had a good story about Anthony regarding this, but she stopped short of giving us the really filthy details, and since I didn’t understand her movie reference, it kind of went over my head. It was agreed, meanwhile, that Lani had a “gorgeous voice” and that all the girls wanted to marry Paul Goddard. Hee. Paul was described as a “bashful teddy bear,” but strangely, no mention was made of his twisted sense of humor.
And the muppets came up. It was a universal sentiment that Pilot was the most beautiful creature that anyone had ever seen, and Raelee individually lamented that Pilot never liked her and thus she never got to hug him. They also talked about dodging Rygel’s puppeteers, which was made all the more difficult by contact lenses that obscured your peripheral vision. Virginia described the puppeteers as incredibly interesting and selfless as a group- sometimes, she related, the actors would accidentally step on their hands, but they never made a sound.
Most interestingly, on the matter of everyone’s contact lenses, Raelee revealed that she personally resented having to wear them because, in addition to limiting her vision, they also deadened her eyes. Amusingly, she also observed early on that some actors on set had costumes so elaborate that five departments had to be notified before they could go to the bathroom.
After the Farscape celebrity panel, I attended a nifty panel on medical nanotechnology followed by an equally nifty panel on Buffy scholarship, which, on its own, doubled my fannish reading list. I suspect I won’t agree with the scholars on everything. But I’ve found that my own opinions are best developed in dialogues with other smart viewers, so pursuing the Buffy panel’s recommended titles will almost certainly be worthwhile.
And here, I left the convention proper to prepare for the room party, which was a small, intimate gathering that included, among others, kernezelda, leadensky, and searose, aka, my convention mommy (more on that later). There was food and wine and discussion of Centauriphilia, followed by a multifandom survey of sci-fi’s strong female characters and, of course, more wine. By the end, I was a little bit drunk and giggly, so naturally, I ignored searose when she scolded me not to stay out too late and promptly pranced over to the Marriott, where I stayed up discussing B5 with a small group of people until a drunk guy in a kilt showed us his butt and we realized it was 5 A.M. Around 4 A.M., after all the sane people had left to go to bed and only Melissa (someone I met at the room party) and I were left, I admitted that Londo/G’Kar was my OTP. “OMGWTFBB… actually, that makes a scary amount of sense,” said Melissa. Then I reminded her that Londo offered to give G’Kar sexual pointers in Rising Star. “You’re right! I am converted!” she said. Ha! I went to bed triumphant.
Next: The Farscape panel blueaeryn hated, the genocide panel, convention politics and LeVar Burton. And I promise it won’t take nearly as long this time.