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Home » Archives » November 2006 » Flowwwww
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11/26/2006: Flowwwww

Hello, Gentle Readers! I've been shamefully absent recently, as a fierce writing schedule and the holiday left me unable to blog. But I have returned. And I've got a good one for you today.

I was talking with a producer of feature films the other day who was raving about a script she had just read. She commented, with some surprise, on the fact that she wasn't just enjoying the movie that the script could become, but that she was actually enjoying the script in and of itself. Scripts, she pointed out, aren't usually the most satisfying form of written literature.

But they can be. A spec script is the only kind of script in the whole world that is ultimately intended for a READER, not a VIEWER. If you can make it read like a short story, with a sense of flow, of narrative verve, you're going to positively delight your readers. One way to do this is to try to give the script a sense of a conventional flow of sentences, allowing them to bridge over the different tiny units that make up a script. Here's what I'm talking about. Let's suppose you're writing the last action line in a scene. Try adding a little bridge into the next scene. Like this. (Keep in mind that these entries aren't good at depicting script format.)


She closes the book, looking troubled. And then suddenly we're in...



See how that worked? You can also do something similar to lead from action into dialogue. Like this:

Davis SMACKS the club into his hand as he says:

You're a very unlucky man


Another good place to do this kind of thing could be at the end of an act:

And before we're even sure what we're seeing, we:



You can still obey all the conventions of script writing, while sort of laying standard sentence structures on top to produce sentences that would almost read uninterrupted if all the choppy script formatting stuff were taken away.

You don't have to do this all the time. You don't want the script to read as if you're so new to the script form that you're simply over-elaborating. Just throw this technique in here and there to give the script some readability.

For some reason, this technique also seems to convey confidence. There's something about it that suggests the writer is loose and relaxed. That also will impress a reader. Which is a very good thing.

Lunch: A piece of homemade pumpkin pie. Mmmm.


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