Home Contact Biography Works Media News

Jane Recommends
Who Hates Whom / Bob Harris

Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide by Bob Harris

"The geopolitical equivalent of scorecards that get hawked at ball games. Only Bob could make a user’s guide to our increasingly hostile world this absorbing, this breezy, and—ultimately—this hopeful."
~ Ken Jennings, author of Brainiac


Jane in Print
Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe, edited by Jane Espenson

Flirting with Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece, edited by Jennifer Crusie and including Jane Espenson's short story, "Georgiana"

Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly, edited by Jane Espenson and Glenn Yeffeth

Jane in DVD

Jane in DVD

Now Available:
+Battlestar Galactica Season 3
+Dinosaurs Seasons 3 & 4
+Gilmore Girls Season 4
+Buffy: The Chosen Collection
+Tru Calling
+Angel: Limited Edition Collectors Set

Jane in Progress


Home » Archives » April 2008 » Another Voice to Master
[Previous entry: "You Don't Need to be a Secret Agent to Find Out Agents' Secrets"] [Next entry: "Zoeae Doesn't Refer to Baby Clams, But it's Good For Scrabble"]

04/04/2008: Another Voice to Master

Have you given any thought to your writing style? Sometimes script writing teachers can give you the impression that a good script is as styleless as a blueprint, purposefully bearing no mark of an author in order to be an impartial conduit of what-the-viewer-will-see-and-hear.

Nonsense! Scripts can have as much style as a novel or short story. Stage directions are nothing less than you, whispering directly into the ear of the reader. That's your voice. You can choose to be dispassionate and precise, to stay out of the way. Or you can be breezy and whimsical and conversational. Or poetic and evocative. You can choose a style that fits the scene, if you want, toning down the joking asides and turning up your inner Poe when a scene is dark.

Now, here's the amazing part. You can even employ style when you're writing for a show that already exists. Even if you're on staff at that show. One of our Battlestar writers has a distinctive straight-from-the-id style that makes his scripts stand out from the rest of ours. Listen:

"The room is so quiet you could hear the sweat trickle." That's from a stage direction. And notice that although it's got whimsy to it, it's also incredibly economical. Stylish stage directions don't have to be long-winded. I could give you a half-dozen examples from the same script with the same degree of conciseness and style. They don't distract, they enhance.

In general, it's usually good to try to write like the show runner, but if you've got a good light hand and a vibrant style, you should experiment with letting it shine through in your scripts. In fact, you may find that that nagging urge to put voice-over in all your spec pilots will go away, if you let the stage directions serve a bit of that need you feel to talk to the audience.

Lunch: hot dogs (no buns), cucumber salad


Get Blog Updates Via Email

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
Jane recommends you also visit BobHarris.com



April 2008

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Powered By Greymatter
Greymatter Forums

Home | News | Works | Biography | Frequently Asked Questions

Site design Copyright © PM Carlson
This is a fan site owned and operated entirely by PM Carlson with the cooperation and assistance of Jane Espenson. This site is not affiliated in any way with Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox or ABC.