SimplyScripts Discussion Board
Blog Home - Produced Movie Script Library - TV Scripts - Unproduced Scripts - Contact - Site Map
ScriptSearch
Welcome, Guest.
It is September 20th, 2018, 6:20pm
Please login or register.
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login
If you wish to join this discussion board, please send me a message. Please do read the guidelines that govern behavior on the discussion board. It will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone. A word about SimplyScripts and Censorship


Scripts Studios are posting for award consideration

The Night Gallery 7 Week Challenge
has begun!

Short Script of the Day | Featured Script of the Month | Featured Short Scripts Available for Production | Submit Your Script

How do I get my film's link and banner here?
All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
Forum Login
Username: Create a new Account
Password:     Forgot Password

SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    General Boards    Questions or Comments  ›  How much information do you need to add?
Users Browsing Forum
No Members and 2 Guests

 Pages: 1
Recommend Print
  Author    How much information do you need to add?  (currently 188 views)
DarkSide546
Posted: September 8th, 2018, 11:29pm Report to Moderator
Red


I'm an alien disguised as a squirrel.

Location
Some part of the world.
Posts
42
Posts Per Day
0.87
I'll try to keep this short and understandable (hopefully)

I posted a question on this site about mixing genre and I want to thank you guys first of all for answering it really helped me out a lot.

Now to my question (almost) before posting my question about mixing genre I searched it up online first and during my search, I found this article...

https://www.writersstore.com/13-things-bad-screenwriters-commonly-do/

My question is regarding the third thing writers do, "Too much or little detail in the narrative"

So finally my question: How much information should put in the action line?

Do I keep it minimum two lines with a maximum of three?

Truth is I don't know. I've read some scripts on this site along with a few more from movies that have been produced and they have about two sentences of detail in the action. I'm just curious.

Also what information should you put on the action line? apart from the action that your character does.


The Mall - OWC (Rewritten - Sep 9, twenty-eighteen)
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1533390755/
Logged Offline
Private Message
Mr. Ripley
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 3:05am Report to Moderator
Yellow


Writing

Location
New York
Posts
2029
Posts Per Day
0.45
Hey DarkSide546,

That is a personal trial/error choice.

It's up to you to decide how much is enough. Let other people (preferably those you trust) to read what you've written to get feedback on what works and doesn't work.  And then, it comes down to you determine if you should follow the advice or ignore it. Ain't writing grand.  

Hope this helps,
Gabe



Logged
Site Private Message Reply: 1 - 13
LC
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 8:08am Report to Moderator
Yellow


Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

Location
The Great Southern Land
Posts
2808
Posts Per Day
0.77
Posting this from Scriptshadow:
September 4
Carson Reeves
From his review of: bodies bodies bodies
Written by a new screenwriter.

There’s also too much mundane detail in the action. For example, there’s a scene where everyone’s playing a card game, smoking a joint, and every other line is an exorbitantly detailed explanation of what the characters are doing with the joint. “MATT receives the joint from SCOTT, takes a hit, and then holds it between two fingers as he adds a card to the card house he is building out of the abandoned game of Kings. Once the card has been delicately placed, he considers his creation for a beat, then passes the joint to CASEY.”

A veteran screenwriter knows you don’t have to write any of this. The reader will fill in these unimportant details themselves.


Much like the example you cited.
You learn as you go.

Another very brief example is if you write something like a character makes coffee. If it's not intrinsic to plot you would not detail the character throwing the old filter out, placing a new one, turning the tap on, filling the water jug, switchng it on, warming the cup   etc. You'd just write: Mike puts coffee on to percolate, sits back, reads the newspaper.

Hope this helps a little.


Logged
Private Message Reply: 2 - 13
DarkSide546
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 8:52am Report to Moderator
Red


I'm an alien disguised as a squirrel.

Location
Some part of the world.
Posts
42
Posts Per Day
0.87

Quoted from LC
Posting this from Scriptshadow:
September 4
Carson Reeves
From his review of bodies bodies bodies
Written by a new screenwriter.

There's also too much mundane detail in the action. For example, there's a scene where everyone's playing a card game, smoking a joint, and every other line is an exorbitantly detailed explanation of what the characters are doing with the joint. MATT receives the joint from SCOTT, take a hit, and then holds it between two fingers as he adds a card to the card house he is building out of the abandoned game of Kings. Once the card has been delicately placed, he considers his creation for a beat, then passes the joint to CASEY.

A veteran screenwriter knows you don't have to write any of this. The reader will fill in these unimportant details themselves.


Much like the example you cited.
You learn as you go.

Another very brief example is if you write something like a character makes coffee. If it's not intrinsic to plot you would not detail the character throwing the old filter out, placing a new one, turning the tap on, filling the water jug, switching it on, warming the cup   etc. You'd just write: Mike puts a coffee on to percolate, sits back, reads the newspaper.

Hope this helps a little.


It did but just to clarify. I just need to add information if it's important to the story and plot?


The Mall - OWC (Rewritten - Sep 9, twenty-eighteen)
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1533390755/
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 3 - 13
LC
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 9:02am Report to Moderator
Yellow


Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

Location
The Great Southern Land
Posts
2808
Posts Per Day
0.77
That's right.

If the character had OCD, for example, perhaps the detailed coffee making might be relevant. Perhaps he changes the filter over and over,  sterilises his mug with boiling water six times. Perhaps he accidently burns himself with the boiling water - his obsession turns dangerous. That might be a catalyst for him finally getting help from a doctor.

Otherwise he should just be making coffee.


Logged
Private Message Reply: 4 - 13
DarkSide546
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 9:12am Report to Moderator
Red


I'm an alien disguised as a squirrel.

Location
Some part of the world.
Posts
42
Posts Per Day
0.87

Quoted from LC
That's right.

If the character had OCD, for example, perhaps the detailed coffee making might be relevant. Perhaps he changes the filter over and over, sterilizes his mug with boiling water six times. Perhaps he accidentally burns himself with the boiling water - his obsession turns dangerous. That might be a catalyst for him finally getting help from a doctor.

Otherwise, he should just be making coffee.


This is very helpful thanks.


The Mall - OWC (Rewritten - Sep 9, twenty-eighteen)
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1533390755/
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 5 - 13
PrussianMosby
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 9:54am Report to Moderator
Yellow


Posts
1213
Posts Per Day
0.68
One of the things I think Robert McKee has said, and even despite being a script guru, he's correct with imo, is, that every line should serve the core of your specific story.

So, keep the focus on what your screenplay evokes as a whole and if this or that description and even word has a merit with regard to the true "experience".

On a personal note I also think one should trust himself and follow his own instincts. Everything else would be mechanic, working by numbers, and with that, feel unnatural. Better show you got your own approach as a subjective being. That's treating people truthful.


No End of Wolves   (9p - psychological horror)

Logged
Private Message Reply: 6 - 13
Dustin
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 10:30am Report to Moderator
Blue


Action speaks louder than dialogue.

Posts
4820
Posts Per Day
2.56

Quoted from LC


Another very brief example is if you write something like a character makes coffee. If it's not intrinsic to plot you would not detail the character throwing the old filter out, placing a new one, turning the tap on, filling the water jug, switchng it on, warming the cup   etc. You'd just write: Mike puts coffee on to percolate, sits back, reads the newspaper.

Hope this helps a little.


Doesn't this depend on context? It may be a drama and the character is grieving, for example. Describing mundane actions like this can help show the grieving process or even be used to signify getting over an ordeal.

Never say never.

Logged
Private Message Reply: 7 - 13
eldave1
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 11:05am Report to Moderator
Yellow



Location
Southern California
Posts
3832
Posts Per Day
2.54

Quoted from DarkSide546
I'll try to keep this short and understandable (hopefully)

I posted a question on this site about mixing genre and I want to thank you guys first of all for answering it really helped me out a lot.

Now to my question (almost) before posting my question about mixing genre I searched it up online first and during my search, I found this article...

https://www.writersstore.com/13-things-bad-screenwriters-commonly-do/

My question is regarding the third thing writers do, "Too much or little detail in the narrative"

So finally my question: How much information should put in the action line?

Do I keep it minimum two lines with a maximum of three?

Truth is I don't know. I've read some scripts on this site along with a few more from movies that have been produced and they have about two sentences of detail in the action. I'm just curious.

Also what information should you put on the action line? apart from the action that your character does.


No really a correct answer here. Only can tell you what I do.

I insert spaces as I imagine the eye moving watching the scene. e.g., rather than:

Dave types at his computer. Laura enters, gun in hand.

I would write:

Dave types at his computer.

Laura enters, gun in hand.

Obviously that is vastly over simplified - the point being is that I want a viewer/reader to see Dave first mindlessly typing away and then see Laura a moment later.

Action words are important and I try to eliminate the more pedestrian ones unless they are needed. Let's say I'm tipsy and bar hopping.

e.g., you could write Dave walks into a bar.

walk too pedestrian - better as:

Dave stumbles into a bar.

And then there is tone. Sometimes you have to write more descriptively then as otherwise efficient because you are either setting the tone of a character or a setting.

Take the Dave is writing example above. So much different as:

Dave at his computer, an empty coffee cup and ash tray crammed with cigarettes butts on his desk.

Those things can let a reader know Dave has been there awhile.

Anyway - just musing



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 8 - 13
DarkSide546
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 3:08pm Report to Moderator
Red


I'm an alien disguised as a squirrel.

Location
Some part of the world.
Posts
42
Posts Per Day
0.87

Quoted from eldave1


No really a correct answer here. Only can tell you what I do.

I insert spaces as I imagine the eye moving watching the scene. e.g., rather than:

Dave types at his computer. Laura enters, gun in hand.

I would write:

Dave types at his computer.

Laura enters, gun in hand.

Obviously that is vastly over simplified - the point being is that I want a viewer/reader to see Dave first mindlessly typing away and then see Laura a moment later.

Action words are important and I try to eliminate the more pedestrian ones unless they are needed. Let's say I'm tipsy and bar hopping.

e.g., you could write Dave walks into a bar.

walk too pedestrian - better as:

Dave stumbles into a bar.

And then there is tone. Sometimes you have to write more descriptively then as otherwise efficient because you are either setting the tone of a character or a setting.

Take the Dave is writing example above. So much different as:

Dave at his computer, an empty coffee cup and ash tray crammed with cigarettes butts on his desk.

Those things can let a reader know Dave has been there awhile.

Anyway - just musing



This is extremely helpful. Thank you. Also what do you mean exactly by pedestrian words? You've sparked some curiosity. What are pedestrian words I should avoid? If you can be more specific.


The Mall - OWC (Rewritten - Sep 9, twenty-eighteen)
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1533390755/
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 9 - 13
eldave1
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 3:23pm Report to Moderator
Yellow



Location
Southern California
Posts
3832
Posts Per Day
2.54
Walks, sits, stands, etc


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 10 - 13
LC
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 6:54pm Report to Moderator
Yellow


Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

Location
The Great Southern Land
Posts
2808
Posts Per Day
0.77
Walks, sits, stands. Pedestrian = boring verbs.

'stumbles' to use Dave's example, indicates the guy who entered/stumbled into the bar has likely had one too many already.

* Dustin, you're right, which is why I clarified context in my next example.

Use verbs that pop.

Darkside, use a thesaurus - a dictionary of synonyms. There's plenty of them online if you don't own one.


Logged
Private Message Reply: 11 - 13
Angry Bear
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 8:22pm Report to Moderator
God Queen of the SimplyScriptsVerse



Location
The Swamp...
Posts
6355
Posts Per Day
1.65

Quoted from LC

Use verbs that pop.

Action verbs. The thesaurus is a writer's best friend. IMO.


Logged
Private Message Reply: 12 - 13
Nomad
Posted: September 13th, 2018, 1:10am Report to Moderator
Green



Location
Los Angeles, California
Posts
534
Posts Per Day
0.20

Quoted from DarkSide546
I just need to add information if it's important to the story and plot?


Yes...and no.

You have to remember that you're writing a story.  
Sure it's in script format, but it's a story that you want people to enjoy and you want them to turn the page.

If you only include stuff that pertains strictly to the story and plot, it may sound like instructions on how to most effectively watch paint dry.

Be judicious with anything that doesn't pertain to the story or plot, but don't forsake it just because you read some "rule" in a book somewhere.  If you can suck me into the scene with some unfilmables, do it.

If you're in doubt, read some spec scripts that got made.
Copy them.  
Learn their method.
Create your own.
Collect your Oscar.

Just sit down at your keyboard and bleed.

-Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 13 - 13
 Pages: 1
Recommend Print

Locked Board Board Index    Questions or Comments  [ previous | next ] Switch to:
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login

Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post polls
You may not post attachments
HTML is on
Blah Code is on
Smilies are on


Powered by E-Blah Platinum 9.71B © 2001-2006