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 ...
Arcanist Lupus's user avatar
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 ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
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 ...
Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron's user avatar
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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 6,245
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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 6,245
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....
linksassin's user avatar
  • 4,153
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 ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
13 votes

How do I write a sexist narrator without coming off as sexist myself?

Basically this comes down to how you write any character without readers thinking that theirs is your opinion. There are many novels and movies that give the general impression that the authors and ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
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!" ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 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, ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
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-...
Ángel's user avatar
  • 704
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 ...
Dale Hartley Emery's user avatar
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 ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
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'...
De Novo's user avatar
  • 1,238
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. ...
piersb's user avatar
  • 389
10 votes

Origin of the "1 minute of film per page" rule-of-thumb when following formatting conventions for screenplays?

Don't use the final screenplay. I suggest you try Dave Trottier's "Dr. Format Tells All", now in its 4th edition. It is pretty comprehensive, and I have also used his services to review my ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
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 ...
F1Krazy's user avatar
  • 10.8k
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 ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 381
9 votes

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

There are a number of reasons why plain text is still fairly common in a number of industries. Portability Standard ASCII text files can be opened and written to by a staggering number of computer ...
TheLuckless's user avatar
  • 1,361
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. ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
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 ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
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 ...
Lew's user avatar
  • 3,100
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' ...
R.M.'s user avatar
  • 781
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 ...
Surtsey's user avatar
  • 5,289
8 votes

Is it wrong if I kill off a black character?

Why is the character black? This Wiki contains a chart, based on the US Census bureau and self-identified race, that shows 72.4% of Americans identify as White alone, and 12.6% of Americans identify ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
8 votes
Accepted

How to write dates shown on screen

It’s not necessary in the body of a scene to inform us as to the setting, the time of day, or whether it’s an interior or exterior, as this is already known from the scene heading. If a legend, such ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible