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

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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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64 views
+50

Possible To Introduce A Character Through A Dialogue?

In a screenplay, would it be okay to introduce a character through a dialogue? The character in question isn't given a background (in the ACTION) in the start since his first appearance is one where ...
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3answers
67 views

Getting past a dead end

I've been working on a screenplay for a while now. But I seem to have reached quite the dead end. My question is, what do you guys do, to get past a sticking point. Especially when you don't want to ...
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51 views

Writing the role of the actor in a movie/play

When writing a script / screen play would you write it as 'Vin Diesel says:...' or as the character i.e. 'John Smith says:...'
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30 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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34 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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38 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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40 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
41 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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69 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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45 views

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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102 views

In a screenplay, how do you show people talking over each other?

When writing a script where you have two (or more) people talking at the same time, how is that formatted? Side-by-side columns? Some other vertical grouping? Notes? Does it vary? Examples would be ...
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70 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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68 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
68 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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113 views

Should “plot” or storyline be the main determinant of what goes into a story?

In writing a screenplay, I created a bunch of scenes, with about twice as much material in total as I needed. So the job was to cut things down to size. In so doing, I found that a number of scenes ...
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546 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 ...
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1answer
94 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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49 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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43 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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4answers
87 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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1answer
74 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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126 views

Screenwriting courses online - Worth the money or not?

I'm looking into taking a screenwriting course online, either from UCLA or NYU or NYFA... If anyone has taken any of these, please answer the following: Are these online course certificates ...
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1answer
21 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.
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1answer
102 views

Can one feasibly sell an adult-content screenplay?

So I may have a few fairly high-quality very-adult screenplays lying around and I was just wondering if there was any hope of my profitting off them in some way? Does anyone have any experience with ...
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52 views

What's the difference between Cut and Cut to?

What's the difference between Cut and Cut to and where to put each one? I know both are put between scenes-sluglines but what is the difference between the usage of the two?
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209 views

Video game gameplay script

How can one describe a moment of gameplay inside a script for a video game? Writing down Cut-scenes is like writing down scenes of a movie or a tv show. How can one write the moments in a script in ...
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282 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 ...
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97 views

How to improve my English writing? [duplicate]

I know the title of this question is too broad. But I think this is the apt title for my doubts. I am a non-native speaker of English language. Even then I love to write in English whenever I get ...
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1k views

Hollywood script vs Bollywood script

I was comparing between the formats of scripts from both Hollywood and Bollywood. Following is the first page of the script of Pulp Fiction. And following is the first page of a Bollywood film, Jab ...
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1answer
96 views

How do you mention the same character with two very different descriptions?

In a screenplay, if you have a single character whose appearance and significance changes at some point - how do you note/explain that it's the same character? For example, I might have a MASKED ...
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3answers
193 views

Screenplay format: Can character names be shortened after the first mention?

For example: TED DIBAR, (40s) swings his cape to the side, as he approaches Felix. Do I need to continue to use the character's full name, or can I shorten it in subsequent mentions?
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107 views

What's the difference between “MUSIC” and “MUZAK?” [closed]

I've seen both mentioned in screenplays I've read, but as far as using them, what separates them? Please. I need to know how to write this right.
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110 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 ...
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1k views

What does “OFF” mean in a script?

Could anybody, please, enlighten me as to what "off" means in the following excerpts taken from the script for the TV show "Breaking Bad"? (I've also come across the same use of "off" in other ...
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3answers
81 views

Is there a canonical sample screen play for reference as a speculative script?

If one looks around there are many screenplay samples online. Almost all of them seem to me to break at least one or two of the "rules" that it is suggested be followed when writing a script to be ...
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75 views

Is it better to follow some structure or just write following intuition

I have a plot in mind without any details. I am planning to write it down as a story and then a screenplay, without any background in writing or reading books but just watching movies. When going ...
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608 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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1answer
169 views

Good screenwriting-specific collaboration software

My brother and I want to work on a screenplay together and are looking for a true real-time collaboration software that is also secure. Plotbot shows edits by all parties in real-time, but you have ...
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3answers
238 views

Do screenwriters freewrite/outline directly in script mode?

I'm trying to make the transition into screenplays, but it feels odd to start developing characters and setting just by letting them talk. Is it normal for screenwriters to start writing directly in ...
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7answers
11k views

Differences between script and screenplay

There is usually a lot of confusion when it comes to these two terms. Some sources say that there is no (practical) difference between the two while other sources talk of various kinds of differences. ...
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3answers
181 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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2answers
825 views

How do screenwriters earn money, if none of their scripts get turned into movies?

I just saw a documentary featuring interviews with a few Hollywood screenwriters. Many of them said they had been working as screenwriters for around a decade, yet had never had any of their scripts ...
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1answer
108 views

1-Part vs 2-Part pilot scripts?

Is there a guideline for when it's a good idea to write a pilot as a two-part episode, as opposed to a single-part? Obviously certain stories call for two-part pilots more naturally (e.g. Lost yes, ...
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1answer
263 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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2answers
1k 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) ...
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3answers
3k views

Hand gestures of “Come on” and other short words

While writing stories how I describe the action of hand gestures that many use instead of saying "Come on". Is there any reference? I found list of hand gestures in wikipedia but it doesn't say how ...
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900 views

How to write for cartoons?

How do the techniques for writing for animated cartoons differ from the techniques for other script-writing? Is there a guide for writing for cartoons? I suddenly find myself writing for a flash ...
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2answers
221 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 ...
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774 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 ...