Author Topic: Sticky: Script Formatting on the Forum  (Read 8210 times)

Offline Maimi

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Sticky: Script Formatting on the Forum
« on: November 03, 2011, 10:22:20 AM »
Merely pasting an excerpt of your screenplay will make for a difficult read. This is due to a loss of proper formatting when pasting to a text box. While MWC does not require exact formatting for posted screenplays, many members will pass on reviewing a piece with no recognizable arrangement.

It has been said one should be able to read a script vertically. This cannot be done when the headings, narrative descriptions, and dialogue are a wall of text.


Example I
int. bedroom - morning
From the door, Joe watches Jenny sleep. He glances at the clock and shakes his head, then cartwheels across the room and crashes on the bed.
Jennyís arms windmill as she flies through the air. Her screech is cut short when she slams against the floor.
Joe scrambles across the bed.
Joe
Are you okay? Iím--


Example II
INT.  BEDROOM - MORNING

From the door, Joe watches Jenny sleep. He glances at the clock and shakes his head, then cartwheels across the room and crashes on the bed.

Jennyís arms windmill as she flies through the air. Her screech is cut short when she slams against the floor.

Joe scrambles across the bed.

JOE
Are you okay? Iím--



The lack of space in Example I slows the read down. This practice often causes confusion, too.

Instead of leaving the heading, narrative description, and dialogue a wall of text, place a blank line between each part. Blank lines in the narrative description, when applicable, as demonstrated in Example II, are also suggested.

ALL CAPS signify certain things in a screenplay. Do use them. They make for an easier read and allow reviewers to focus on other areas.  
                 -When you see JOE, you know what follows is Joe's dialogue.

                 -Using Joe and Jenny in the narrative description, instead of JOE and JENNY, indicate they were introduced in a previous scene. Had they not been introduced as circus gymnasts in a previous scene--stay with me, I'm using my imagination here--you might question Joe cartwheeling across the bedroom.


Please apply these minimum formatting suggestions when posting a section of your screenplay. Of course, youíre welcome to follow stricter formatting rules, such as indenting dialogue cues and dialogue. Doing so will be greatly appreciated.

Pre-Posting (do yourself a favor)
Read and comment on at least three other posts. Not only are members likely to return the favor, but you will learn how to improve and present your work.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:31:04 PM by midnight candle »

Offline midnight candle

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Re: Sticky: Script Formatting on the Forum
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2011, 05:11:15 PM »
Well said Maimi. Nothing to add.

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Re: Sticky: Script Formatting on the Forum
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 10:29:57 PM »
Well done Miami.

Often times, I've seen users will submit, and it is difficult to know whether they are using Word of a formal scriptwriting program. I use Final Draft and have also discovered that when I submit it tends to take on a world of it's own as format changes. It's wise for all of us to consider the users format of submission and than make suggestion based on this.

Thank you for that great subject.

Sincerely;


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Tony_A20

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Re: Sticky: Script Formatting on the Forum
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 08:44:52 AM »
To forum scriptwrters,

This is what a script looks like:
http://web.archive.org/web/20100525105437/http://www.foxscreenings.com/media/pdf/JamesCameronAVATAR.pdf

This is how to display your script on MWC:
http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=49023.msg867941#msg867941

A little research would find both.

Tony


Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: Sticky: Script Formatting on the Forum - Log-lines
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 01:25:41 PM »
When submitting a script, you need a log-line. If you do a search you'll find some advise on how to deal with log-lines and submitting.

Here is one site that may help.

http://www.scriptologist.com/Magazine/Tips/Logline/logline.html

Here's an example Wolfe posted some time ago.

How about simply adding a micro-logline to the title? We practice this in the subject line for electronic query letters. Check the example in the title for this reply.

Perhaps a header atop the page, bolded before comments, and the script?


Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets, then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again.


Well, okay, that's not mine.  ;D  Thank you Richard Politto. If nothing else, I think the micro-logline would show a good starting point to inform potential readers and reviewers the overall theme, message, or plot.

What do you think?

Wolfe
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 01:56:18 PM by Alice, a Country Gal »
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Offline Shawn Francis

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Re: Sticky: Script Formatting on the Forum
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2014, 11:34:27 PM »

Although I am not an expert on these things, I think Miami did a good job. I too am learning. Thanks. :)

Offline blanche

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Re: Sticky: Script Formatting on the Forum
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 12:15:09 AM »
Thanks Alice, I will look at this  more later.  Just glanced for now, but it looked so very (oops can't use very)  helpful.

My only other attempt at dipping my toe in the screenwriter pool happened many years ago.  It was an on-line group that was using a certain software.  Their level of skill and experience was way out of my league and they weren't there to help newbies. Left a bad taste in my mouth and I couldn't get away fast enough. 

I am still far away from actually working on a screenplay, but this gives me some foundation that will be invaluable when I am ready.

You are terrific.

Thank you.

Blanche



Blanche