Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Script Style (Screenwriting)

Script style is an excellent style to use if the story you want to tell consists of (mostly) dialogue. It allows you focus on the words of the characters, without the added baggage of tags and beats to mark the dialogue (he said, she said), along with all the special rules for punctuation and capitalization of quoted speech.

For the purposes of this class, it's fine to use a super-simple approach to screenwriting style:

  • Put the characters' names in all-caps followed by a colon.
  • Double-space when there is a change in speaker.
  • Put commentary in brackets.

For example:
LITTLE RED: My, what big teeth you have, Grandmother! 
WOLF [leaping up from under the blanket]: All the better to each you with! 
[Little Red screams; cut to Forester walking down a path in the forest.]
Optional: You can the characters at the top of the script, putting their name in all-caps, followed by a comma, and then a description. For example:
LITTLE RED, ten years old, is wearing her famous red cap and carries a basket of food; the basket is almost too big for her to carry.
If you want to learn more about professional screenwriting guidelines, check out these sites:

(photo by Joe Flood at Flickr)

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