I've just downloaded an open-source script-writing program, and have started converting the scripts for an anime I've been writing into industry-standard formatting.

There are a few points in the scripts where a character says something out loud, then immediately thinks something else (which the audience hears in voiceover), or thinks something and then says something else out loud. In my (not-at-all industry-formatted) scripts, I've indicated these like so:

CHARACTER: Follow me, and stay quiet. We'll be out of here shortly. (in thought) I hope.


CHARACTER: (in thought) This isn't good. (out loud) Guys, we need to get out of here now--

I already know that I need to change "(in thought)" to "(V.O.)", but other than that, how do I convert these into industry-standard formatting?

  • In plays, "aside" is used for this purpose - the character is speaking directly to the audience, and it is understood that the other characters on the stage cannot hear him. Don't know if it's the same in screenwriting. Sep 9, 2018 at 23:16
  • @DoubleU I'm not writing a play, I'm writing an anime. It's perfectly normal for a character's thoughts to be heard in voice-over.
    – F1Krazy
    Sep 10, 2018 at 5:49
  • There are plenty of screenplays around that employ voice over as thinking: just read some of those, and you will see how it's done.
    – FraEnrico
    Sep 10, 2018 at 7:13

1 Answer 1


Using V.O. for the thought parts should be sufficient. Eventually, you can also add the word "thinking" or similar in parentheses for that piece of dialogue.

For example:

     It sure is nice to speak out loud!

          CHARACTER (V.O.)
     Though thinking is actually even better.
  • 2
    That works nicely. Thanks for the suggestion!
    – F1Krazy
    Sep 10, 2018 at 11:03

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