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

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471 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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2answers
586 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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3answers
111 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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2answers
3k 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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2answers
143 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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3answers
627 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
298 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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3answers
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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2answers
45 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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3answers
847 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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3answers
233 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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1answer
434 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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1answer
32 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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3answers
232 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 ...
2
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1answer
123 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 ...
2
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2answers
368 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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1answer
93 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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3answers
616 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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0answers
134 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 ...
2
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1answer
127 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
283 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
2k views

Short Story first or skip to Screenplay

I'm planning to shoot and direct my own short, small budget science fiction movie as a long term project to learn more about movie making. However, I'm at the very start where I need to write a draft ...
6
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1answer
234 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 ...
6
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1answer
145 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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3answers
86 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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5answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 scripts)...
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1answer
85 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 ...
3
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1answer
158 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, ...
5
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2answers
979 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 ...
2
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3answers
525 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 ...
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6answers
303 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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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2answers
300 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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5answers
468 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
2
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3answers
190 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 ...
5
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5answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
144 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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2answers
1k 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,...
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6answers
398 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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2answers
242 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 ...
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1answer
125 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
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3answers
194 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 ...
3
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2answers
624 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
181 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?