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Questions tagged [screenwriting]

Screenplay storytelling, writing, formatting, and how to put it all together.

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Young Screenwriters' "Writing short" example script makes no sense to me

Could anyone please help me to understand the following: Young Screenwriters have a course "Writing short" where they explain how to write a good script by following certain rules like "...
Vaska el gato's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
82 views

Screenplay formatting: How to get ~55 lines with 12 point Courier

All of the sources I've found suggest that screenplays use 1-inch margins on the top and bottom, 12-point Courier, 8.5" by 11" paper, and have approximately 55 lines per page. (From nfi.edu):...
Luke's user avatar
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10 votes
7 answers
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How do I write a sexist narrator without coming off as sexist myself?

I'm writing a script for a short movie, but I'm not sure if the introduction sounds clear enough. For context, the narrator is supposed to believe in "old-fashioned" values. Specifically ...
FMurphy's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
84 views

Tagging dialogue lines with character names using hotkeys

Is there a program/tool that can use to deal with boilerplate such as indicating who is speaking in my text on the go with hotkeys? What I'm imagining is, for example, when writing a back-and-forth ...
Pomacanthidae's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
186 views

What is an inciting incident?

I've been struggling to find a clear definition of what exactly an inciting incident is. According to Masterclass, an inciting incident is: The inciting incident of a story is the event that sets the ...
Jude Zambarakji's user avatar
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1 answer
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Regarding the use of tradmarked public domain characters in a movie parody/satire

Ahhh Tarzan. I was reading an older thread about public domain characters that had been lying in state for many years - but there was a sentence in the conversation that kind of applies to something I ...
Uncle Reggie's user avatar
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1 answer
194 views

Can scenes taking place right after each other in the same place have separate headers?

I'm writing a screenplay and in it there are two different scenes that take place in the same place and with one immediately after the other both chronologically and in the script. I want to separate ...
SlowlySwift's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
165 views

How should I include the sentence that a character would've said if they weren't interrupted in a screenplay?

I'm writing a screenplay with a scene were characters interrupt each other frequently. I think including the lines a character would've said if they weren't interrupted could help the actors and ...
SlowlySwift's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
71 views

Character vs story [closed]

How much should I allow my characters to influence my plotting, and how much should the plot influence how I create my characters? Should I begin with a plot and then devise my characters to be "...
quanity's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
267 views

Format multiple alternative scene variants in a draft script

Is there a way to have multiple alternative variants of a scene (alternative dialogue, shorter scene, etc.) in a spec script that, for example let's say the writers room of a tv show, would agree on ...
shaedrich's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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How long should I develop a character before killing him?

In my 3rd draft, a character, that adds a lot to the main character's backstory and motivation spends around 10 minutes in the movie. Am I safe killing him off, or should I extend the character's time?...
Herkus B's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
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Origin of the "1 minute of film per page" rule-of-thumb when following formatting conventions for screenplays?

Looking for formatting rules or conventions for screenplays. Many times they mention this format results roughly in 1 minute on film per page. Is this an observation on average (i.e. an output), or is ...
MS-SPO's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Adding "thoughts on something" to the "metadata" of a fountain screenplay

I'm using fountain syntax for my screenplays and currently, I'm having trouble deciding, where to put my thoughts on something (let's say, worldbuilding) in the screenplay. Of course, it can't be ...
shaedrich's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
76 views

How to externalise internal thoughts better?

I've been watching a lot of Krzysztof Kieślowski movies lately, especially Decalogue, and I've noticed how adept he is at using visuals to externalise the inner ideas of his characters. How can I ...
Vallance Alvares's user avatar
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1 answer
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When should you include a shot of a character when someone talk about that character?

When should you include a shot of a character when someone talk about that character? In films or comics book, you sometimes see someone mention a character and you still a shot or a picture of that ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
573 views

Does it make sense to reset your characters' development in an episodic show like South Park or Family Guy?

Does it make sense to reset your characters' development in a episodic show like South Park or Family Guy? I often see that the characters ignore some of the things that happened in previous episodes. ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
107 views

In scriptwriting, how do you refer to disembodied voices that are not narrating the story?

In scriptwriting, how do you refer to disembodied voices that are not narrating the story? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZsJyCyGBSI I was watching this and I was wondering what the "Long Long ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
52 views

When writing a movie or a tv show, how do you insure that the transitions between scenes don't feel abrupt and random?

When writing a movie or a tv show, how do you insure that the transitions between scenes don't feel abrupt and random? I was watching Star Wars and I thought the movie didn't flow very well from scene ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
539 views

How do you write branching and optional dialogues in a screenplay for video games?

How do you write branching dialogues in a screenplay for video games? I initially thought that when writing a screenplay for a videogame, it was the same thing as writing a screenplay for a movie or a ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
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What do you have to focus on when reading other people's screenplays to improve as a writer?

What do you have to focus on when reading other people's screenplays to improve as a writer? No matter, how many screenplays I read, I can't seem to improve in my writing. What are the most important ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
200 views

When you adapt a story set in Medieval Europe should you still aim to have a diverse cast even if it's not historically accurate?

When you adapt a story set in Medieval Europe should you still aim to have a diverse cast even if it's not historically accurate? When you adapt a book set in Medieval Europe, should you still aim to ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
1 vote
3 answers
93 views

How do I simulate attention-deficit in screenwriting?

The goal is simulate the idea "You are hearing but not listening". My first implementation idea is using subtitle on specific sentences/keywords to show what a character is actually ...
Struggling_In_Final's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
176 views

How do you tell your readers without telling and only showing that the most popular interpretations of your work is wrong?

How do you tell your readers without telling and only showing that the most popular interpretations of your work is wrong? Let's say I am Stanley Kubrick and I made the movie "The Space Odyssey&...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
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When writing a movie script, should you take care to not use very 'blocky' sentences?

I sometimes just describe where the people are located in a scene, but those sentences sound very blocky, should I change them and improve them or is it completely normal to do this in a screenplay? ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
81 views

When writing in third person limited point of view, can I throw out some quick information about the protagonist omniscience style?

For example, let's say that my protagonist has a special ability that he cannot die, literally, but he has lived a peaceful life and never been in any critical situation so far. I want to write his ...
fat raccoon's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
69 views

If I am cutting from one speaker to the next is there a more consise way to write than what I have?

Is there a simpler way to write the following scene where the camera cuts to the speaker every time the speaker is speaking? Example: INT. OFFICE - DAY Velma is sitting at her desk. Mike walks in. ...
1.21 gigawatts's user avatar
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1 answer
90 views

Doubt in screenplay definitions

Can someone tell me the difference between scene, plot, story, and structure ?
quanity's user avatar
  • 117
1 vote
1 answer
156 views

How to set up page view in Scrivener?

I'm editing a screenplay in Scrivener and would feel more comfortable if It was in page view, but it isn't. The obvious solution is to go into "File" - "Page Set-up" - "A4&...
Roland Smith's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
63 views

Are there any Scrivener hotkeys for screenplay formatting?

Perhaps we can start on the same page: Scrivener is super, super, super crummy. Unfortunately for me, I've imported a complete screenplay that was a Word document into Scrivener, and now I need to ...
Roland Smith's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
53 views

Feature length screenplay versus shorter formats

Is there a logistical or practical reason why one should write a feature length screenplay (about 100 pages) rather than shorter screenplays (about 10-40 pages?) I'm considering this from the point of ...
Eggman's user avatar
  • 195
2 votes
2 answers
245 views

How do I write a screenplay with three protagonists?

I'm an aspiring screenwriter. I'm in the process of writing my third script. But I'm stuck in a quandary. I don't know how to effectively write a screenplay with three protagonists! The story revolves ...
mystery's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
302 views

Could one sell a screenplay written for an animated show?

Let's say I've written an episode-by-episode screenplay on my own time (I don't work for an animation studio). It's well-written and original, but because it hasn't already been published, it of ...
Jay Gee's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
302 views

What do I need to keep in mind when writing a "pilot" episode for a series?

I've been working on a series. However, the series is very long and incomplete, so it's difficult to get feedback on it from others. So I’ve been considering writing a “pilot” episode. A short story ...
user2352714's user avatar
  • 4,675
2 votes
4 answers
180 views

Would it be too presumptuous of any established author to write a novel in the hope that it be made into a film?

Before I start, let me clarify that this is not a dilemma I am facing currently. It's just a question I had in mind for many established and aspiring authors. Many best selling novels get made into ...
srini's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
101 views

Protecting a POV in visual adaptation of a novel

I’m considering allowing a film adaptation of my novel but want the “frame story” message maintained. What would this device technically be called in the agreement? Example: The original Planet of the ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
205 views

Structuring TV episodes that each have a movie-long screenplay

TV shows nowadays are elaborate, lasting 45 minutes or more per episode, with each episode being a full-blown movie in itself, since they have their own screenplay the length of a Hollywood film. What ...
user610620's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
358 views

How to decide whether to write a story as a novel or screenplay?

Any general framework for deciding whether a story should be produced as a novel or screenplay? It seems a screenplay, while ideal for dialogue-rich stories, would regardless still be more sought-...
user610620's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
144 views

What is the sub-genre/trope of the characters in a multi-POV story all coalescing in violent mayhem called?

Imagine your typical multi-POV story, with an urban setting and within the action genre, boasting a lot of not-so-upstanding citizens for characters. These characters are spread about, some with ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
327 views

How to format quick flash cuts of photos in a screenplay?

I am writing a script where there are quick flash cuts, where the current present action is then 'captured' in a still photo which is representing a 'highlight' on an Instagram post/story shown for ...
Georgia 's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
240 views

Is adding too many people/characters to a story bad?

im building a world for a screenplay and i would like to have some main characters I have already made some character profiles for some of them but i was wondering whether or not if adding too many ...
Brie Red's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
815 views

How do I change the person a character addresses in a screenplay?

I was formatting my screenplay, and I wondered how to specify that the speaker changes who they are addressing. I figured it would simply be stated in a parenthetical:                 DUIRE What? I'm ...
Eggman's user avatar
  • 195
2 votes
1 answer
105 views

Is it silly to ask a writer to finish my script, but follow my key points

I'm working on a story for a video game I made that's supposed to be made into anime/visual novel, but In the game you kill monsters so there's not much room for character development. I have key ...
No Thanks's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
388 views

Why do most movie plots have obvious flaws, despite the extreme competitiveness of the script marketplace?

@Standback wrote in an answer to "How difficult is it to break into screenwriting?": It's extremely, extremely difficult. Not too many people making movies. Lots of people writing ...
MWB's user avatar
  • 143
2 votes
1 answer
67 views

When making a movie pitch, do you need to have a screenplay or are there other types of documents you can have instead?

When making a movie pitch, do you need to have a screenplay or are there other types of documents you can have instead? Sometimes, I would assume someone would pitch general ideas and worldbuilding ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
36 views

What are some means we can use to direct the analyst's interpretation of a movie scene?

What are some means we can use to direct the analyst's interpretation of a movie scene? I feel like Kubrick's films can be interpreted in too many ways. Some people think they make his films even ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
-1 votes
1 answer
63 views

Writing a screenplay versus a short story

I've been writing short stories throughout my life, in a humorous style. Yet, these stories lack a literary quality, and the prose is rather plain. I'm debating whether to start writing screenplays ...
Eggman's user avatar
  • 195
1 vote
0 answers
86 views

What are the various means to add hidden meaning in a screenplay?

What are the various means to add hidden meaning in a screenplay? People use anagrams, visual symbolism, allegories, but I am wondering if there are different ways to use anagrams, visual symbolism, ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
139 views

Is it possible to mix a script and a screenplay into one?

Screenplays and scripts primarily separate out dialogue and stage directions, etc. Would it be feasible to write a script and mix elements of a screenplay into it, to give both technical and acting ...
06Blakeyboy's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
216 views

How should a scene in a screenplay be formatted when switching between a re-telling of a story and the story being told?

I have a scene where a character is recounting their side of a story in a courtroom. The character tells a good chunk of their story, and then we see the experiences he is recounting instead of his ...
Christopher Wirt's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
398 views

How do you write "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!" in a movie script professionally?

Stephen: I am your daddy. Robert: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The question is how do you write no in a way that looks professional without removing the "...
Sayaman's user avatar
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