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

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6
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1answer
56 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
698 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 ...
2
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3answers
59 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 ...
0
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1answer
52 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 ...
7
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2answers
247 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 ...
5
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1answer
101 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
149 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 ...
2
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3answers
2k 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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2answers
100 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, ...
5
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2answers
370 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 ...
3
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1answer
76 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, ...
0
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1answer
84 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 ...
3
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2answers
458 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
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
456 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
114 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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2answers
363 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 ...
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1answer
302 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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2answers
123 views

Writing style — comma, period and re-referring the object of the first sentence again as subject in second sentence [closed]

Alex look around the room, it's almost empty except few small empty boxes and few clothes. Alex look around the room. It's almost empty except few small empty boxes and few clothes. Alex ...
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3answers
156 views

How to tell if my story is finished, or needs more?

Slightly obtuse title, let me elaborate. I'm writing my first screenplay, and I'm trying to keep it simple while making it simultaneously wonderful. It's just a rom-com. But as I write and modify ...
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2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
210 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 ...
0
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1answer
98 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 ...
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6answers
256 views

How to tell a story with the least amount of writing?

I love to invent stories and come up with ideas, but I don't have the patience to fill out all the details that is usually a part of a novel. (For those of you familiar with Myers-Briggs or Jungian ...
4
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
4
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2answers
158 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 ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Should you specify camera action in a film script?

Some scripts I read specify the exact camera angle of every shot-- where the camera starts, what we see, how it will move during the scene. And some scripts are a little less specific. Is this only ...
2
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3answers
140 views

Is it a bad idea to linger too long on a first draft?

I'm currently working on the first draft of a screenplay, and it's not very good right now. It's little things; some parts go too quickly or slowly, other dialogue exchanges need improvement, and ...
5
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1answer
2k views

How to handle screenplay revisions in Final Draft?

I need to revise a screenplay in Final Draft, and I'm finding that the revision features in the program are poor. Are there any ways to introduce revision features in to Final Draft, similar to Track ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
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2answers
229 views

How do you estimate the length of your screenplay in screentime?

The title says it all. I'm talking about a feature-length film here, although I'm sure the techniques are universal.
1
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1answer
143 views

How do you get into screenwriting?

If you want to publish short fiction, you send it out to magazines. If you want to publish a novel, you send it to literary agencies. But what if you want to sell a screenplay? Who do you talk to?
2
votes
3answers
428 views

How to cover different perspectives/levels of thinking in one story?

I was reasoning with a friend about why movies/novels often get highly successful while others, despite having an interesting story/topic, don't get much attention. We came to speak about Matrix, Pulp ...
6
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5answers
461 views

The Protagonist and the 'Mid Point' of a Screenplay

I'm currently working through the preparation process before I start to write my first feature length screenplay, helped in no small part by Syd Field's books. I've got the three act structure ...
9
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4answers
2k 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).
6
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2answers
152 views

Shots in a spec script?

I'm writing a feature-length movie screenplay - well it's still at the story stage, so I haven't started to write the screenplay itself yet. I have been reading wordplayer and a few scripts to see the ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Is there an accepted format for comedy sketch writing?

I have been doing Google searches for examples or teleplays to download that may offer insight for sketch comedy writing. Is there a specific format that those in the industry follow or is simply the ...
9
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2answers
469 views

What are the structural differences between scripts for comics and scripts for films?

Has anyone experienced the transition from writing plots/stories for comics to writing a script viable for films? If so, what are the main differences and challenges?
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6answers
303 views

Are there any free programs for screen writers

Screenwriting has a very strict format that Microsoft Word cannot fully match. Are there any good screenwriting word processors out there that are free?
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5answers
754 views

Do episodes of the show House follow a constant structural pattern?

I've seen a few episodes of House M.D., and I wonder, are the episodes written according to a fixed structural pattern? If so, what are the details, and why does such a structure make the show ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How difficult is it to break into screenwriting?

Is it difficult to get anyone to buy a screenplay you write? I am thinking about writing a screenplay but am concerned that maybe I shouldn't waste my time; I have no formal training in writing ...
8
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2answers
463 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
407 views

How can I get started screenwriting/playwriting?

I have some experience writing stories, but would like to beginning screenwriting. Are there any online guides to show how to get started and transition into writing for the stage, where ideas need to ...