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The Songwriter's Idea Book by Sheila Davis

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STRATEGY NINETEENThe Phone Call as Framing Device

The Strategy's Advantage

If there's some subject at the back of your mind nagging to be written and so far you haven't found the right handle—could be it's the phone. Letting the audience act as eavesdropper on one end of a conversation offers a unique opportunity to both move a plot forward and reveal aspects of character.

Some Phone Call Titles
W*O*L*D Kiss Me Thru the Phone
I Just Called to Say I Love You Hello Again
Pennsylvania 6-5000 Operator
Beechwood 4-5789 The Telephone Song
Operator, Long Distance Please Hello, It's Me

Of all the foregoing titles, “W*O*L*D,” Harry Chapin's vignette of an aging deejay, stands out for its exploitation of the phone call device. In four minutes ...

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