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format A very short first try (ONLY 3 PAGES)- feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I am very new screenwriting but having come from a writing background for a few years it has always been nothing that I wanted to try, I've done quite a lot of research into formatting and the style of screenwriting itself, but thought there's no better way to learn then to just do it and get some feedback.

This is a short 3-page clip, I wanted to see if I was describing and formatting in the right way. As it is so short it doesn't have a lot to it but hopefully, the idea of what I want to get across is met.

Very much appreciated. :)
 

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mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
I hate "we see" etc but some people like that. I think it's better to simply describe what's in the scene. By definition, that's what the viewer will see.

Avoid directing from within your script - that means don't indicate how long a shot takes, or even that it's an arial view.

Woman is a description - it's her name that needs to be all caps.

Don't include anything that an actor can't portray - that means exclude words like "feels." You can indicate that she rubs her hand over it.

Don't say that only the mirror and rug remain - there is nothing that will indicate to a viewer that there ever were more things than that in the room.

Always present tense - so "Nan waits" not "Nan is waiting."

A group of people should be in all CAPS when they first appear.

"People in the room stared" is not clear. Who are the people? The ones setting up the buffet? If so, say that. Indicate that they stop what they're doing, turn and look at her.

Move that parenthetical re cheek kiss to an action sequence.

Don't use a phrase that describes what isn't there such as "under ten."

Finishes the sandwich, not finished.

Avoid "to see if he can find his mum" - stick to "he looks around." There's nothing in that action to indicate who he's looking for.

Don't describe how loud her voice is - that's for a director.

Describe how the people turn to look and listen, not what we "start to see."

Cut "after Elsie has left the room...." - only describe what actually happens as the viewer can't see what DID happen before.

That's the gist of it...

Hope it helps.
 
I'm not sure of the full angle on this story and if there's something else to come that will explain it, but the actions and dialogue of Elsie seems more akin to the behaviour of a teenager rather than someone in their 20s.

Aside from what's already been commented on, the only other thing I noticed is that some of the elipses in the dialogue segments seem to long. Think some may be better off described in the action segments prior to the dialogue starting.
 
Hi Jkds,

I totally get that, this is a very short scene it doesn't have much context as it was written as a very basic first draft to see how I handled the writing format etc. With her age, the behaviour is coming from a place of grief so is yes very immature as that is how her anger at the person dying is expressed.

And thank you for the feedback of the ellipsis I'll have a look around those and see how to change them

:)
 
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