The end of punctuation: full stop. This will complete our examination of how to use punctuation to create vivid imagery in your narrative description and how to imply camera angles and pacing edits without revealing that’s what you are doing. If there’s anything I’ve missed, send me a note. I’ll be happy to answer your … More Directing Through Punctuation, Part 4.
Backwards and forwards. As we continue our exploration of how to use punctuation in the narrative description of a screenplay, don’t forget the example we’re looking using. It’s from the first page of Shane Black’s 2005 directorial debut, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: The girl starts to SCREAM. SHRIEKING. Writhing in agony. Tears streaming. Harold stares … More Directing Through Punctuation, Part 3.
The power of punctuation. Each punctuation mark has its own meaning. It defines how we read a sentence, where we pause and what inflection we impose on the words. They also have informal corresponding implications when writing visual description in a screenplay. As we get into the dots, dashes, slants and curves, there’s a lot … More Directing Through Punctuation, Part 2.
One of the secrets that all great screenwriters understand is how to direct through punctuation. Direct without directing. Instead of camera angles and the royal “We,” force your reader to see the movie you want them to see by using the tools at your disposal: punctuation and grammar. Write your movie the way it should … More Directing through Punctuation, Part 1.
Like an MC Escher drawing, a good screenplay is an illusion. It uses words on a page to convince readers to see something very different in their minds’ eyes. The way language, grammar and punctuation are used in a script defines the reader’s experience of that script. When it’s done well, a script is said … More Creating a Narrative Style
It’s summer, let’s review! Screenwriting is hard work. Especially when sunshine and warm weather outside beckon. If you don’t love the writing process, it’s hard to stay focused. Applying your imagination, creativity and patience on a daily basis requires discipline and determination. It can be a lonely pursuit. Sometimes no more lonely then when you’re … More 4 Tips for Great Screenwriting
The Economics of Information The ability to use information and imagery economically and efficiently is a skill that comes with practice and revision. With careful attention, you can create a style of narrative that is effective as well as personal for you. As you hone this skill, you will create a unique way of telling … More The Economics of Information
The Lie that Tells the Truth Writing is more than just putting words on a page. Writing is more than constructing a story with a beginning, middle and end. Writing is absorbing and experiencing life, filtering it through your imagination and finding the truth inside an experience that allows you to communicate your ideas to … More Break Time
Images and Sound More than dialogue, a movie is about images created from sound and pictures. The narrative is how a writer describes what the reader would be seeing and hearing were s/he watching the filmed movie of his or her script. Like everything else in a script, narrative needs to show the reader not … More Screenplay Narrative (Part 1)
Only tell the reader what is being seen. When describing people, places and situations never tell the reader something that can’t be seen by a person sitting in the theater watching the movie unfold. Resist the urge to explain or provide exposition. Do not give us backstory or the inner monologue of any character. Do … More On Language in Scripts – Scenes and Narrative (Part 3)