Questions tagged [screenwriting]

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

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2
votes
2answers
164 views

Why is the standard screenplay format just plain ASCII? Why don't use LaTeX or Word?

I'm just curious. I don't know anything about screenwriting and I see scripts online have only one format and they are all plain text. Why don't they use LaTeX or Word? It will look nicer and the ...
2
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3answers
169 views
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6answers
3k views

Should I be a Novel Writer or a Screenwriter?

Should I be a Novel Writer or a Screenwriter? This question is intended for the beginning writer, who is unsure if he should start with writing physical books, or with writing scripts for movie ...
11
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1answer
1k views

How to name indistinguishable henchmen in a screenplay?

A large group of indistinguishable henchman feature throughout my screenplay. What is an acceptable naming method for them? Let's say I wanna call them 'Red shirts'. Can I ... A) Call them all RED ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Documenting story in a videogame

How does one write a story for a story-based videogame. Is it done in the form of a screenplay? Is it written as any normal prose? Is it written as documentation that goes with the other early design ...
6
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6answers
1k views

The Protagonist and the 'Mid Point' of a Screenplay

I'm currently working through the preparation process before I start to write my first feature length screenplay, helped in no small part by Syd Field's books. I've got the three act structure ...
29
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11answers
16k views

Is it wrong if I kill off a black character?

He is one of two supporting characters that die in my screenplay. My wife says I shouldn’t make him black if he’s going to die. Would it be politically incorrect?
1
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1answer
133 views

Is it ok to “reprise” a scene from an earlier screenplay in a sequel?

In my screenplay, there is a the so-called "receptionist scene" where the (female) receptionist warns the heroine that the company she just joined at a high level isn't very woman friendly. The ...
1
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1answer
172 views

Is it a good idea to first write the linear plot when writing a segmented screenplay?

I am working on a segmented screen play, involving three major segments cutting in and out frequently. I was planning to write the entire plot in a linear, unsegmented style, then cut it up per the ...
3
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1answer
3k views

How to script two scenes happening simultaneously?

I am writing a movie where a character has an interview with a news reporter. The scenes segues into a character profile of the interviewee that features a voice over from the interviewer. How would I ...
15
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3answers
4k views

Is Social Media Science Fiction?

I am writing a science fiction story (actually a screenplay for a film, but I imagine that for the purposes of this question the same rules apply) and I have been told that it isn't really science ...
5
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1answer
116 views

How to format a screenplay scene where the action alternates between 2 or more spots in an open space?

Question : In a screenplay, how should I format a scene in which the action and dialogue alternates between 2 or more spots in an open space? Example: I have a scene where the action and dialogue (...
0
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1answer
370 views

Writing an interview in a screenplay

I'm writing an interview in a screenplay where the protagonist is being interviewed a la 60 minutes. The interview shows an interviewer, Sarah Jones, who interviews a politician, Ben Parker. It ...
6
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3answers
3k views

How to write character's emotional reactions in a screenplay?

Question : When writing my screenplay, I frequently find the urge to describe a character's emotion. However, I have read somewhere (I forget where) that this should be left to the actor to some ...
2
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1answer
59 views

News shot in screenwriting

I'm writing a screenplay that incorporates various news shots. I plan to use various news shots as expositions. My story takes place in the future, and I want various news shots that display the top ...
4
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3answers
738 views

Can your current work of fiction be influenced by a sequel?

Most works of fiction are influenced by back stories. Can that also be true for envisioned sequels? I was working on a screenplay in which a female suit rises to the top of the company and is ...
3
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3answers
256 views

What is the meaning of the dictum that the third act should contain the greatest crisis?

I am working on a screenplay in which the protagonist has to surmount a crisis in each of the three acts. That is, a physical crisis in Act I, a social crisis in Act II, and a psychological crisis in ...
3
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1answer
126 views

Adapting dialogue from a novel into a screenplay

I would like to adapt a novel I wrote into a screenplay, and I was wondering if there are things to take into consideration before taking the dive. The novel doesn't have a lot of dialogue and I think ...
3
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1answer
131 views

Writing a phone call scene in a screenplay

I’m writing a scene that is on a phone call. I don't want to hear one person in a voiceover. Instead, I want to cut back and forth between the two people speaking. Do I have to use a new scene ...
6
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3answers
258 views

How to keep writing?

I really love writing, mainly screenwriting. I can also come up with ideas and start writing. But there is one problem, I just start writing them and never take up the work again. What do you do to ...
6
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1answer
571 views

Sluglines for same location but different periods, real and imagined

I'm writing a short film that has the vast majority scenes set in a pub, with the main male character about to approach a woman, and he imagines/projects some of the possibilities of this - it goes ...
2
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4answers
180 views

Screenwriting Techniques: Emotional Projection

NECESSARY INFORMATION Recently I saw someone on the internet say that Revenge Of The Sith was so powerful because of an effect called "Emotional Projection." This means that when you see the movie, ...
2
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1answer
341 views

Recommendations for short film script [closed]

I would like to take a part in screenplay competition. The main goal is a script for a short film (8 - 10 minutes). I have several questions about it: How long should the script be? How many ...
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2answers
114 views

Formatting for a visual medium: Screenplay or transcripts?

I have a specific way of writing when it comes to describing things in a visual medium, like video games, movies, or shows. I'm not a prose writer; I always wanted to write for visual media, not ...
5
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2answers
258 views

Does every story really represent a life-story, as McKee advises?

In Robert McKee's book STORY, he says that a whole life story of a character must become a story well-told. So, it seems that the concept of "story told" is a representation of a "life story" that ...
4
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1answer
631 views

Can the Final Draft 11 software handle foreign screenplay formats?

I am considering buying Final Draft 11. Of special interest to me is that this version can handle 95 foreign languages, including Japanese. My question is, can FD11 handle foreign (read: non-...
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1answer
123 views

Where to Find Screenwriters? [closed]

I'm currently searching for a new screenplay. So I'm looking for forums/pages where I can find writers. They can or maybe should be non-professional, because the movie is micro-low budget to low ...
9
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4answers
2k views

How do you make a scene “tasteful”?

Let's say you have a scene that contains nudity. There are many ways to do it wrong and have it just be a pervy scene, but there are also ways to make it "tasteful" in a way where it's slightly less ...
2
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3answers
205 views

I have no artistic skill, but I want to write for animated shows/movies

See title. I love writing stories, but I usually imagine how they are like in show/movie form, specifically 3d animated ones. I don't feel like I have the skill to write a good book, but I do think I ...
1
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1answer
123 views

Introducing characters in a screenplay [duplicate]

In one of my scenes, I introduce "GUEST" at a party. Later, each guest is introduced by name. So if I capitalized GUESTS, do I have to capitalize their name later?
15
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6answers
11k views

How do you write 2 or more characters saying almost the same thing in unison

When 2 or more characters speak in unison you can generally do something like this "awwwww, she's so cute!" the girls said in unison in near perfect harmony but what about when the line is only ...
2
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2answers
103 views

How do I make a repetitive element in a play interesting?

I am writing a playscript these days which includes various characters that are frequently related throughout the story. They all hold special orbs/keys that help the main protagonist progress further ...
2
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3answers
152 views

Screenwriting using codenames

I'm currently writing a script where a woman is in a group that only uses codenames when with each other. I was wondering how I should address this in format. Her real name is known to the audience ...
2
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2answers
166 views

Class/Course Names in Fiction

sorry if this has already been asked. But how are course or class names written in fiction (both prose and screenplay)? For example, if someone has a second-level algebra course on their schedule, ...
3
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1answer
2k views

How to show a flashback in a screenplay?

I’ve searched the questions and couldn’t find this. I don’t quite understand how to notate/show a flashback in a screenplay. Not just the format, but also the actual text and tense. I don’t know if ...
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2answers
4k views

Playwriting: What is the difference between parentheticals and stage directions?

Coming from the World of Screenwriting, it proves difficult for me to discern the usage of parentheticals from the usage of stage directions in a play I'm writing. I need to know which is for what and ...
7
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4answers
604 views

Respecting classic dramatic structure in a documentary

I'm planning on shooting a documentary on a potentially important shift in a friend's life. In an attempt to educate myself a little bit before shooting the events, I'm reading about the classic ...
5
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1answer
78 views

Example screenplays on the web

Wondering if there are any good "open source" screenplays available on the web, ones that provide a good introduction to screenplays and have lots of "features" of screenplay writing. I would like to ...
2
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2answers
98 views

Including (public domain?) lyrics of a song in my screenplay?

In my screenplay, the lyrics of "Shenandoah", a traditional American folk song, are heard once. May I publish a few lines with the words?
10
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5answers
602 views

How can I get started screenwriting/playwriting?

I have some experience writing stories, but would like to beginning screenwriting. Are there any online guides to show how to get started and transition into writing for the stage, where ideas need to ...
4
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3answers
139 views

How to write an online screen name in dialogue?

Might be a bit nitpicky - but I really want to get the formatting correct - especially because this is one of the first lines in the script. The screen name is: ArgyleMan29 Like this? JACK: Online I’...
9
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3answers
956 views

Should I use a series of shots for this scene?

Should I use a series of shots for this? (context- Joe previously raged in his room - knocking things over) INT. JOE’S ROOM Joe stands up the nightstand. Plugs in the lamp. Takes the alarm clock, ...
8
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2answers
200 views

Transitioning from novel writing to screenwriting?

I've been studying writing for several years, and I feel fairly confident in my ability to write a novel. Before I take the plunge and go for it though, I was curious about a slightly different path: ...
4
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2answers
4k views

How to write long conversation of (whispers) when screenwriting?

If you have a conversation of whispering in a screenplay do you have to put: BATHSHEBA (whispers) Beneath each character’s name. I’ll add that the situation mandates whispering and could be ...
4
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2answers
192 views

WYSIWYG-type editor for dialog?

I'm writing dialog for my game in a format kind of similar to screenwriting. I have dialog, mixed with a little "action", like this: John: Can you pass me the salt? Sally: Sure! ACTION: Sally ...
3
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2answers
544 views

Dialogue from a distance

How do I indicate dialogue 'from a distance'? Two characters and riding down a field on a quad bike, one asks a question of the other, who answers. They're visible but you can't see their lips move. ...
4
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1answer
109 views

Do I need a star's permission to write a fiction TV series inspired but not exactly as his life?

I want to write a fiction TV series inspired by a true love story between a star and his fans except that I'm going to represent the fans as an actual female character and make it a romantic series. ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

How firm is the 120 page limit on a screenplay?

How close to that do I need to get? I’m sitting around 132. It can be cut, I think, but 120 would be losing major content. Would something in the range of 125-127 be okay?
5
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3answers
9k views

How are descriptions and character thoughts handled in a screenplay (versus a novel)

I wonder if you write descriptions in a screenplay the same way you write in a novel. For example, I see writers describe the physical effects of the emotion of anger rather than just saying 'angry', ...
4
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6answers
504 views

How to tell a story with the least amount of writing?

I love to invent stories and come up with ideas, but I don't have the patience to fill out all the details that is usually a part of a novel. (For those of you familiar with Myers-Briggs or Jungian ...