Questions tagged [screenwriting]

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

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3k views

Can anyone become a good writer? [closed]

Is it possible to become an Ernest Hemingway? Sure, someone can learn to spell, put punctuation in the right places, and keep his sentences down to twenty words. That doesn’t make you Earnest ...
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4answers
139 views

In character development for a screenplay, is it enough to present only a person's most salient characteristics?

In my screenplay, I feature a CEO of an advertising agency who is "pot shaped," shy, tongue-tied and a few other characteristics that make you wonder how he ever became an advertising executive, never ...
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2answers
255 views

Scrivener: Can I set spacing below the header?

Can I set it so that there is a certain amount of space between the text on each page and the header?
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3answers
117 views

Is there a widely accepted standard for representing simultaneous ongoing events in a screenplay?

Let's say I'm writing a scene where Arnold and Jo are arguing over whether to go out tonight or not. While they do this, though, Rupert is also in the process of constructing a house of cards, and ...
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2answers
253 views

To what extent 'Reality' be included while writing 'Realistic' Fiction literature?

According to wiki, Realistic fiction typically involves a story whose basic setting (time and location in the world) is real and whose events could feasibly happen in that real-world setting. ...
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4answers
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How to stop viewing your story as a film

When thinking about scenes and story ideas, I can't help but picture something playing out as a movie. It's so much easier to picture someone moving and doing things than to actually describe what ...
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4answers
416 views

Reasons to use “red herrings”?

I don't see any analytical literature about the usefulness of red herrings as a TV trope. What are some reasons to use them? I'm assuming there's more to it than just bored writers trying to amuse ...
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1answer
55 views

Is it better to jump right into the screenwriting format or start with freewriting in a notebook/on the computer?

As I've recently found my inner writer, I'm still learning the basics. I know that there is a standard screenplay / script format that should be followed when doing one. Would it be better to write ...
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4answers
1k views

Any suggestions for a new writer?

I am in no way a writer. It's something I've always wanted to do, but could never build up the courage to actually start. Every time I think about writing, I think about the end result and how I am ...
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1answer
37 views

WGA compensation for writers

I understand that if you want to hire a writer to write an episode there are certain minimums set, like $15k for a 20min sitcom story plus teleplay. But, what if there are multiple writers writing a ...
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2answers
247 views

Standard format for symbols that denaote text, phone or email message or dialogue, when all are used in same story

I am writing a short fiction piece that has rapid fire texts, emails, phone messages and dialogue. How do I format the piece so with one symbol I can use to cue the reader as to which it is? Is there ...
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0answers
118 views

I have this story all planned out, why can't I write it? [duplicate]

I have written out two full manuscripts for this story. They are completed. Then I met the actress that the lead character was inspired by. She likes the character she mentions to me if I write it as ...
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4answers
339 views

should I use predictable plot elements?

I see many similarities in films to the point where I can often guess what will happen next,even if the part was intended to be suspenseful. is that bad writing? should "plot twists" always be ...
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2answers
81 views

How can I do research about the geographical scenarios of plot?

I am writing a semi-fantasy novel, which is set in medieval India and today's New York. I have never been to New York, and will not be there, for far period. How can I do research to embed the ...
6
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3answers
8k views

How Do I Write a News Broadcast Montage in Different Locations in a Screenplay?

I want to write a sequence in my screenplay where the same news broadcast continues on different screens in different locations. For example, a bunch of people in a bar are watching the broadcast, ...
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3answers
237 views

What existing platforms use crowdsourcing to develop creative writing and editing?

What existing platforms use crowdsourcing to develop creative writing and editing? What are the barriers in developing an active community? Why would this not work? Has it been tried? Was it ...
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1answer
91 views

In TV script writing, how to format complex newscast?

I'm writing a spec script where a TV newscast is supposed to appear on the screen for a couple of minutes. It starts with the anchor speaking from the desk about a trial that's going on. Then it ...
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3answers
82 views

Scene descriptons?

If one is describing a gala ball, what level of detail of the room is considered appropriate? For example, if the ball is a lavish one, is it appropriate to include the table settings (conical red ...
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5answers
7k views

Why are some words in screenplays set in all caps?

I believe I understand this and I'm looking for confirmation. Examples: It has become a tugging match with the Weird Man shouting, "I'll take you to a taxi... I'll take you." Ahead, a group is ...
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3answers
852 views

Can you specify camera angles in your screenplay?

So I guess camera action is up to the director. Would I ever be allowed to pan if it is important? Would I not be able to pick certain angles? If I can, what would be the best way to specify --for ...
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2answers
221 views

How applicable are screenwriting ideas to novels?

My current goal is to write a novel (I'm already close to the 35K word mark). However, most of the books I've read about story structure are actually about screenwriting. While stories are stories no ...
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7answers
140 views

A good idea but I do not know how to develop it [closed]

When you have a good idea for a book or screenplay, but you do not know how to develop this idea on paper, what do you do?
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5answers
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How do screenwriters incorporate song scenes into a screenplay for a musical?

If the song is already written, sure, easy question. But say you're sitting down to write The Lion King before any composers have even been brought aboard, before pre-production has even been dreamt ...
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2answers
885 views

A Background Voice Heard Over A Phone

There's a running dialogue between two of my characters. However, I am not using INTERCUT and only one of the two characters will be in frame. The other will be heard through V.O.. Now, here's my ...
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2answers
2k views

Rapid Cross-Scene Cuts in Screenplay/Script

In a screenplay I'm writing, I want to use a rapid cut-together sequence of reaction shots from characters in several different locations already established earlier in the script. Is it still ...
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2answers
403 views

Photos in Screenplays

I cannot seem to find any information about this question. Is it appropriate to include photos of characters in a biographical screenplay?
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2answers
228 views

In play writing, script writing or theatre is there a name for some exchange of dialogue between characters that is supposed to make a point?

Suppose you want to show that two characters have some animosity towards one another. In some scene you set up a meeting between the characters in the elevator and an exchange of lines occurs. This ...
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4answers
153 views

How can one establish a discipline of sticking to a writing schedule?

I currently have three stageplays, a comic strip, one screenplay and posts on writing blogs (not to mention NaNoWriMo) that I have to stay on top of, and yet my mind gets scattered, although I find ...
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1answer
3k views

Are non-speaking characters in a screenplay introduced in all caps?

For example, if a guard enters a room and watches someone but does not speak, is this character introduced in all caps as GUARD? What if the character's role is even more limited: a little girl hands ...
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3answers
120 views

Does a writer have any rights to a work that has been completely rewritten by another writer?

Does a writer have any rights to a work that has been completely rewritten by another writer? The rewriter used the original work as a blueprint, but ended up changing most of the details and ...
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2answers
702 views

Describing camera movement in the ACTION?

Is it okay to write a bit of camera movement in the ACTION? I don't mean the camera movements such as PUSH IN or ANGLE ON. What I mean is something like the following: Through an **aerial view**, we ...
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2answers
1k views

How does one go about successfully getting their movie script, or screen play, into the right hands?

How does one go about successfully getting their movie script, or screen play, into the hands of top level Hollywood producers? Does one need a literary agent? If so where does one find one that ...
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2answers
5k views

Is there a way to import a script from Celtx into Final Draft?

Is there a way to import a script from Celtx into Final Draft? Going to switch and it seems as though my script is "locked" into Celtx's format. I'm hoping this is possible and that there isn't a huge ...
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1answer
110 views

Which is the best resource to learn how to write a sitcom?

Can anyone suggest me the best resource to learn comedy screenwriting for Sitcoms? I have read Melvin Helitzer's "Comedy writing secrets" book and learnt a lot from it. But I want to know in depth ...
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2answers
734 views

Use Of '!?' In Screenplays

Is it okay to use !? for emphasis in dialogues in a screenplay? I understand that it cannot be used in the ACTION or the PARENTHETIC, but I assume that the rules are a lot less stringent when it comes ...
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2answers
967 views

Describing The Sky In A Screenplay

This might seem worthy of scorn for some of the seasoned screenwriters around here. Google wasn't helping me a lot with this question, so I thought of putting it here. I am wondering how good a ...
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1answer
463 views

How do you make page numbers in google docs? [closed]

I really need to know how to make the page numbers in google docs look like a real book. I know how to do the page numbers, but how do you do them half on the right side and half on the left (like an ...
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3answers
114 views

What type of writing is suited to an aspiring professional storyteller?

What I want to do professionally is tell stories. I consider myself a storyteller, but I don't know if I should be a novelist or if I should write a manga, graphic novel, screenplay or something else. ...
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1answer
154 views

How to sell a screenplay?

I have written a screenplay for a short film. I want to sell this to someone who is interested to produce and direct it. What is the best strategy to sell a screenplay?
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4answers
147 views

Quantity of Writing Needed to Find Representation For a TV Serial

I have reached a point in writing a TV serial where I'm considering looking for an agent to represent me, but I'm not sure how much I should have to show in order to do so. Obviously in order to find ...
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3answers
2k views

Are some literary devices better suited to screenwriting than others?

I'm an aspiring screenwriter, but have never been much of a printwriter nor do I aim to be. I appreciate the value of literary devices in screenwriting but am not trained to identify them while ...
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2answers
1k views

Chopped sentences with too many conjunction, and repeating the subject again and again

I have tendency to write chopped sentences with too many conjunctions, repeating the subject again and again. I don't want that but I'm not skilled in English. For example how do write the following ...
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3answers
617 views

Which are the Best resource to learn comedy screenwriting?

Can anyone suggest me the best resource to learn comedy screenwriting for movies? I have read sydfield's screenwriting book and learnt a lot from it. But I know that comedy genre follows entirely ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the most important element of a drama, beside its message? [closed]

I am participating in a skit in school about superstition and science. How much will the presence of emotion attract the attention of the audience? What are other important things to attract ...
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3answers
65 views

Writing about a real place

I am writing about a real place and the real history of a family. However, there are some things I want to include that aren't the truth. Is this legal to do? Many thanks, Ciera
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2answers
63 views

What are some common pitfalls when adapting a novel (thematic autobiographic in this case) to a screenplay?

I am working on an adaptation of a book into movie format, and I would like to know what experience and guidelines exist for this, so I can improve my way of doing this where possible.
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3answers
2k views

I'm afraid of [accidental] plagiarism

I've recently written a screenplay about an alien invasion. A friend immediately commented that he found similarities (some general ideas, plot devices) with Half-Life 2: Ep 2, which I haven't even ...
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2answers
417 views

Writing a short documentary about a medical clinic

I'm new to documentary writing and would like to write a script for a short film. The subject is a local free medical clinic for folks who don't have medical insurance. It's run by a local ER doctor, ...
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1answer
839 views

Criteria for a good screenplay [closed]

I read a few screenplays and i am a bit confused how the quality of a screenplay is judged by the Osacar panel. It is not as obvious to judge the quality of a screenplay as opposed to the quality of ...
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1answer
42 views

Any way for revisions to show up in a different color from an older saved .fdr to a newer saved .fdr in version 7 of FinalDraft?

Need some help on how to have updated changes show up in a different color scheme for my screenwriting partner. I have the script saved each day under a different date.