84 votes

Is it wrong if I kill off a black character?

Killing a minority character isn't a problem in itself. The problem is that western media (particularly film) has a long tradition of killing of minority characters and leaving white protagonists to ...
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53 votes

Why write a book when there's a movie in my head?

Screenplays are collaborative, whether you like it or not. Actors will say the lines. Directors will alter the tone. The photographer will create their own vision. And the producers will hire other ...
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  • 24.3k
32 votes

Is it wrong if I kill off a black character?

There are two simple rules when it comes to writing which trump all else: Always write for the reader (or in this case viewer). Never let anything get in the way of your writing. The second rule ...
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28 votes
Accepted

Why write a book when there's a movie in my head?

Screenplays are also very difficult to sell, for a first-timer. Books are quite a bit easier. Unlike a screenplay, a book is in its final form, and relatively easy to produce, big publishers can do it ...
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  • 92.5k
28 votes
Accepted

Is Social Media Science Fiction?

It isn't science fiction, it is just Contemporary fiction, aka Realistic fiction. A Science Fiction story must rely heavily on some non-existing tech or some reasonably plausible guess at a ...
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  • 92.5k
23 votes

Can You Hide A Character's Name?

A screenplay is written primarily for the production crew, not for the audience. So you don't have to be afraid of spoiling any plot points by using the real name of the character even though the ...
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  • 5,809
21 votes
Accepted

How do I represent two computers having a conversation between themselves that other characters are unaware of?

Give the AIs some form of avatar. When the human characters interact with an AI, have them interact with the avatar on the screen (or a holographic projection, if that fits into your scenario). This ...
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  • 5,809
15 votes

Is Social Media Science Fiction?

Social media is no longer sci-fi In years gone past concepts like the internet would be considered sci-fi. Many book exist which use digital communication on a global scale as part of a sci-fi setting....
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  • 4,068
14 votes

What are the differences between a script and a screenplay?

The main difference between usage in the terms "screenplay" and "script" is the function of the document. The script that the actors use during filming contains primarily dialogue with minimal stage ...
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  • 371
14 votes
Accepted

I'm unable to figure out the logical solution to a problem; how do I keep writing?

Here's the most simple answer to your solution. Plus, I believe it will make your story better over all. More interesting and add facets that you will be able to explore that will surely make your ...
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  • 6,433
14 votes

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

I've seen it written on the same line in defiance of the "new speaker, new paragraph" rule: "And is this your girlfriend?" Mom asked. "No, I'm not — " "Absolutely not — " we both protested ...
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11 votes

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

1. Generalise I ignored their spluttered protests This works fine when it doesn't really matter what they're saying. 2. Share a dialogue line "I said, Do you get me?" "Sir, yes, sir!" ...
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  • 667
11 votes
Accepted

How to name indistinguishable henchmen in a screenplay?

If they have lines or specific actions, it's important to give them all names. Why? Because each one will be played by a different actor. Each actor needs to know where s/he is at any given time, ...
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11 votes

Can You Hide A Character's Name?

You have several options at your disposal: You could use a descriptive name: main character, maid, angry customer. Not all characters need names. While it's a bit unusual to refer that way to long-...
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  • 634
10 votes
Accepted

What does "OFF" mean in a script?

In the context you've provided, OFF Marie, left stewing now means "this is the last thing the camera sees before it moves off her to the next shot." These are framing directions to the camera person. ...
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10 votes
Accepted

How to stop viewing your story as a film

A key feature of written fiction is that we're not limited to two senses (sight and sound) the way film is. We writers can give the reader access to three additional senses, plus the internal ...
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10 votes

Screenplay vs Novel

A screenplay is meant to be performed. A novel is meant to be read. (You can have an audio recording of a novel, but that's still someone reading it aloud, not a radio drama.) A screenplay has ...
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10 votes

Should I use a series of shots for this scene?

A good screenplay focuses on the prose rather than the technical aspects of film production. Don't include camera direction. Read some screenplays online to get a sense for what you should and shouldn'...
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  • 1,219
10 votes

Can You Hide A Character's Name?

A solution I've seen is as follows: When the character's first introduced they use the alias. Bob enters the library. Standing at a bookshelf is a LIBRARIAN, filing some books. ...
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  • 389
9 votes
Accepted

Why is the format of a Bollywood film script so different from that of a Hollywood movie?

It's not always so different. There are just a set of rules in hollywood, there isn't really in bollywood. So in bollywood you write as you please and so sometimes it looks more like the hollywood-...
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  • 106
9 votes
Accepted

Should I be a Novel Writer or a Screenwriter?

Financial concerns aside, the differences in the day to day job of writing include: Structure: In a screenplay structure is everything. You have two hours to tell the story. Your forebearers have ...
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  • 1,712
9 votes

Is it wrong if I kill off a black character?

I had the same dilemma recently with one of my older stories (i.e. 6-7 years old), which is in need of redrafting. One of the supporting characters, a black woman, dies halfway through; this is a ...
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  • 9,421
9 votes

Why write a book when there's a movie in my head?

Don't forget that nobody (except perhaps students on a film-making or screenplay-writing courses) ever reads screenplays, even those of classic famous movies. Write one by all means if you feel ...
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  • 381
8 votes

Any suggestions for a new writer?

You're letting the perfect become the enemy of the good. Let's be blunt: your initial efforts will suck. That's because every writer's initial efforts suck. Stephen King? Sucked. JK Rowling? Sucked. ...
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8 votes
Accepted

How do I end a comedy sketch?

Generally speaking, humor comes from the unexpected. You anticipate that A will happen, but B happens instead. Someone says "I want to give up cigarettes and switch to vaping." You expect that the ...
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8 votes

How do I represent two computers having a conversation between themselves that other characters are unaware of?

It is somewhat difficult to answer your question in its current form, but I shall give it a try. The motion picture medium leaves you with three ways of conveying information to the spectators: show ...
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  • 3,060
8 votes

How do I represent two computers having a conversation between themselves that other characters are unaware of?

The key point you're trying to get across is that the humans aren't aware of the computers' conversation. One way to do that is to literally show that the humans are unaware of the computers' ...
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  • 783
8 votes

How do you contact Hollywood directors?

The practical answer is via six degrees of separation. The film industry is well served by a wealth of established script and story writers. Short of stalking or kidnapping, there's virtually no way ...
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  • 5,233

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