Stephen: I am your daddy.

Robert: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The question is how do you write no in a way that looks professional without removing the "audio" information of how the "no" should be uttered by an actor, how long and loud the actor should sound like when he utters the line. How is this normally done?

  • 2
    Hi manocao, welcome to writing.se! Take the tour and visit the help center to learn about our site. This is a nice first question, though you could also generalise it to other drawn out phrases that require audio clues if desired. Good luck and happy writing!
    – linksassin
    Mar 26, 2021 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


That many 'O's and exclamation marks is probably excessive, because it will spill over the line break. Beyond that, you're good to go.

Remember that a script should tell actors what they need to say, rather than how they should say it. How long the "NOOOOOOOO" is, is a decision for the actor, director, and editor, so I wouldn't worry too much about there only being 5 'O's over 12. 2-3 exclamation marks should be enough as well.

Another option is to use annotations in the shape of parenthetical-script:

   (trailing off)
  • 1
    What about annotations (e.g. (screamed and trailing off) NOOoo!
    – Trish
    Mar 26, 2021 at 8:28
  • 3
    You can do something like this: "TRISH Noooo…! (trails off)", all in new Courier of course, with the correct page and paragraph format. This resource seems relevant: writebetterscripts.com/parenthetical-script For the parenthetical, the format is 3.0'' to 3.5''
    – veryverde
    Mar 26, 2021 at 10:27

Like this:

Empire Strikes Back original shooting script (Note that the "I am your father" line is in insert B - it wasn't revealed until the day of shooting - but the response is included here).

In this case, all of the interpretation of the line is left up to the actor and director.

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