Questions tagged [scriptwriting]

Questions regarding writing scripts and screenplays, for movies, TV, videogames and similar media.

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4
votes
6answers
779 views

In a script how can I signal who's winning the argument?

Arguments, discussions, disagreements In my script I have a lot of "arguments" – loose definition: long discussions where characters disagree about what to do. These arguments don't escalate to a ...
-2
votes
1answer
44 views

Good recess scene screenplay [closed]

I'm wondering if anyone could tell me how to write some very short recess scene at a school? I'm out of ideas. P.S. this would be acted.
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Should I explain the reasons for gaslighting?

I have an ambiguous script situation, 2 co-protagonists begin gaslighting the MC. They each have ulterior motives which they don't say. The reader is intended to infer the lies through contradictory ...
3
votes
5answers
184 views

How do I indicate that the next scene actually happens at the same time as the previous scene

I'm currently working on a script for a college project and there's one part of the script that sorta goes like this: A character heard a scream from outside of the room they're in and decided to ...
4
votes
1answer
39 views

Software for Reading Playscripts?

I recently wrote a play and wanted to know what it sounded like before I showed it to the director, actors and so on so forth. Hence I was wondering if there is a software that just simply narrates my ...
2
votes
2answers
139 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
956 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
543 views

How to format quick flashes in a screenplay?

Question : In my screenplay, the main character occasionally suffers quick flashes, like visions. I have been unable to assert if I am formatting these correctly. Please also note the single and ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

How many blank lines before scene headings (and secondary scene headings) using Amazon Storywriter

Question : How many blank lines should be before scene headings and secondary scene headings in a screenplay? Note that I am using Amazon Storywriter. Detail : I am writing a screenplay with Amazon ...
5
votes
1answer
83 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
votes
1answer
55 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
votes
3answers
396 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Autocapitalize after colon for dialog?

I write my dialog in this format: Joe: Why are you wearing a shoe on your head? Sam: Mind your own damn business! What's annoying here is that it doesn't automatically capitalize the word following ...
2
votes
3answers
104 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
89 views

How to collect thought which is in mind on paper into story [closed]

I have lot of story in my mind but whenver try to write, my mind become blank and cannot collet all thoughts to write story.
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Screenplay vs Novel [duplicate]

Now I know, that this question could be tagged too broad or opinion based, and that it might even be closed down. But I have been struggling over this for quite some time now and I want to get an ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to write dates shown on screen

I’m wanting to know how to enter dates that will be shown in text on the screen in a screenplay, I’ve see. Several ways to do it so I wanted clarification, thx for any help
2
votes
1answer
281 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

What’s the longest a screenplay can be at the midpoint?

65 pages? 70 pages??? I’ve got almost 80 and need to know how much I have to cut
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Is an unseen character in phone call (V.O.) or (O.S.)?

Is an unseen character in phone call (V.O.) or (O.S.)? I don’t understand if it’s considered a voice over or an offscreen
3
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

How should I write this scene heading? Let me explain

In my screenplay, I have a character that’s a 20 year old college student. He lives at home. His name is Brett. Another character pulls up to Brett’s house. Should the scene heading read: EXT. ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

In fiction writing, how can one make the passage of time seem shorter?

More accurately, how can one write a story that spans across a good deal of time, but is not so much lengthy in its contents to match that time?
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Sample Script Submission

A job opening for a video game appeared and I was asked to submit a sample script. Ideally a video game one, but film also works. What should I submit? A random passage from a script I wrote, a short ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Asking for help in pitching and writing a script

I have an idea for a story to write. As a matter of fact, I wrote the first few pages. I like to write the story as a movie script and hopefully sell it, and hopefully it becomes a movie. But I am not ...
2
votes
3answers
408 views

Right approach to introduce a character on a script

I'm writing a script for a short film so I'm trying to keep the things that are kind of dispendable, away. The story of the script starts at a bar, with the friend of the main character, a boy, ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

How to format complex action scene?

I have a scene that initially takes place in the padded room of a mental institution. A guard opens the door, the prisoner knocks him out and steals his gun and starts firing from the room into the ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

Getting started with TV writing?

I am a computer science student interested in writing for television. What are the key things that a newcomer needs to know to get started? For example, I know that a TV show requires a script, but ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

Stuck at outlining a script

I have an idea, and it seemed like I had a somewhat clear understanding of the story, it's theme and most of the major plot points, but no matter how long I sit there and how drastically I tweak the ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Time of Day Notes for Internal Scenes

In a script or screenplay, is it necessary (or correct at all) to include time-of-day tags for internal scenes in which exterior lighting does not feature at all (for example, in a maintenance duct or ...
1
vote
4answers
132 views

Potentially risky subject in my script [closed]

I am writing a script that is three acts long, first act being set between the late 30s to the early 40s, next act being set in the early 50s and the final act being set in the modern day. However, ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the meaning of the running numbers in left margin of a movie script online?

Currently, I am going through the script of The Battle of Algiers. On the left margin, there are numbers starting from 1 to 146. It is a 120 minutes long film. What are the significance of these ...
6
votes
1answer
510 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

In script writing, how to denote laughter in unison

I'm writing a TV spec script for fun, and was just wondering how I would denote laughter in unison from a bunch of sailors on a boat. Would it just be something like: SAILORS IN BOAT (in unison) ...
3
votes
2answers
665 views

Screenwriting: Help with paragraph length.

I have a descriptive paragraph, at the beginning of a scene: INT. VICTIM’S BASEMENT - NIGHT ------, a professional criminal, and serial killer, is hard at work in the basement of an ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Words for Sounds in Screenplay

Is there any list of words use in screenplay? Like below. What word I can use to describe the sound of metal gate and a sound of a tower built in metal? THUD - body fall sound BANG - some blast sound,...
5
votes
3answers
342 views

Do script readers start at the beginning?

Script readers-- the people who sift and sort the vast piles of scripts submitted to Hollywood -- do they start at the beginning? The reason I ask is that I know 99% of scripts are awful and just get ...
1
vote
1answer
169 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
487 views

Is a movie script more like a short story or a novel?

The writing techniques used to develop a short story are probably different from those used in developing a novel. My question is, how should I approach writing a movie script? Given the main ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the process for turning a story into a “movie” script?

This is probably a slightly vague sounding question, but I'm curious as to how "stories" go to the point of becoming a film production (at least to the point of becoming a script).
7
votes
4answers
158 views

Formatting for stage, television, and the silver screen

What are the formatting rules for scripts? Are there significant variations? What differences are there between stage plays, television, and movies?
7
votes
6answers
499 views

Are there some good books about scriptwriting to study?

After a little googling I found this: The Complete Book of Scriptwriting What are other good examples?