I want to use something like V.O. or O.S to indicate my character is in a shadow, what should I do?

I like what the Wachowskis did in the Matrix, which is a major influence for me.

Would readers throw it in the trash bin automatically if I did the following? (I know the below formatting is awful, but I'm only concerned about the bold portions).

Bruce (Left Shadow)

...dialog here ...

Vince (Right Shadow)

...dialog here ...

(and later in the script after they come out of the shadows)


...dialog here ...


...dialog here ...

Thanks! John

  • 1
    Are you writing a script? I think script writing has pretty firm conventions to follow for off-screen voices. Sep 21, 2017 at 13:36
  • @KenMohnkern Yes, and roger that... I guess I'll search for an example and use that as an influence Sep 21, 2017 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


If it's a script then it's probably alright, although for a book you can just state the fact in begging like "2 shadows were seen talking on the wall. The left shadow made a hand gestures [any gesture] and Bruce's voice came in saying [insert dialogue] . The other stayed still as the silence prevailed. Suddenly the right shadow caught the collar of other and Vince said- you don't talk to me like that" and then once its established that who is whom. You can carry forward as any normal conversation.

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