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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  Daisy Moderators: bert
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  Author    Daisy  (currently 1089 views)
Don
Posted: December 18th, 2014, 6:26pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Daisy by Thomas Moulson - Drama - A poignant coming of age story about a young girl who tries to escape the expectations of school, friends and family by running away with a group of people, who seem to have the perfect life, travelling around festivals in an ice cream van. 77 pages - pdf, format


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Dustin
Posted: December 19th, 2014, 3:33am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted Text
A poignant coming of age story about a young girl who tries to escape the expectations of school, friends and family by running away with a group of people, who seem to have the perfect life, travelling around festivals in an ice cream van.


A young girl escapes the expectations of school, friends and family by running away with a group of people who seem to have the perfect life, travelling around festivals in an ice cream van.



OK, it's taken me till page 5 to find a piece of writing that isn't talking heads. I haven't read the talking head stuff, but I bet it's full of exposition. Never feed exposition at the start. It's very, very off-putting. Well I shouldn't say never. Some writers could probably pull it off with some thought put into it... but it needs just that. You have to be smart. You have to understand what exposition is before you can manipulate the rules.

Code

INT. BOOTH DINING ROOM - DAY
The BOOTH family are sitting around the table having a
Sunday lunch. HAROLD is Daisy’s dad who is wearing an open
collared white shirt, clear frame glasses, a multicoloured
patchwork cardigan, corduroy trousers and brown suede boots.
He has Grey hair, slightly balding, reaches for the turkey.
SUSIE, Daisy’s mum is wearing a checkered dress, pearl
earrings and pastel coloured heels. She has bright red lips
and a black bob style haircut.
Susie and Harold are discussing Daisy’s future.


What I try to do is write all of the information I can in one or two sentences per action block. Those two sentences could take up to 4 or even 5 lines... however, 4-5 line action blocks should be rare... and you should never need a 5. But, like I've said, sometimes shit comes up. You're the writer, it's up to you to decide. However, there are still boundaries you cannot cross. The more of a newb you are, the less you should attempt to cross them. Keep one action block per camera shot. When the camera moves to a new shot, make a new action block. Now, let's take a look at the actual writing.

Code

The BOOTH family are sitting around the table having a
Sunday lunch.


The Booth family sit at a dining table, eating a roast dinner.

Keep things as active as you can. Mine isn't the best example as I have other things on my mind at present... but you should also only show us what we can see on screen. How do we know it is a Sunday? There's no point in telling us this in action. You could share it in dialogue, or show it visually somehow, which would be the preferred option for me.

Code

HAROLD is Daisy’s dad who is wearing an open
collared white shirt, clear frame glasses, a multicoloured
patchwork cardigan, corduroy trousers and brown suede boots.
He has Grey hair, slightly balding, reaches for the turkey.


This should be your second action block as the camera will cut to Harold.. who doesn't have an age. We also cannot possibly know that he is Daisy's dad just by looking at him. You've given him too much of a description.

After reading it, I'm tempted to simply write:

HAROLD (50s) reaches for the turkey.

Turkey? Is this Thanksgiving or Christmas? Why Turkey? You wrote that is a Sunday.

Code

SUSIE, Daisy’s mum is wearing a checkered dress, pearl
earrings and pastel coloured heels. She has bright red lips
and a black bob style haircut.


Same here and you spelt 'chequered' wrong. She needs an age. No need to tell us she's Daisy's mom and there is too much description. I like that she is dressed up and I think I know what you're going for here. Perhaps you want to make the Dad out to be proper fatherly, whereas mommy is a bit less motherly. She likes to dress up, even for Sunday dinner with the immediate family. That makes her interesting. However there are ways you can show this without the information overload. Maybe she's at the table applying red lipstick in a small vanity mirror while Dad serves up the food.

Code

Susie and Harold are discussing Daisy’s future.


Completely pointless telling us this.

Screenplay writing is about show, not tell. You need the help of this forum if you want to improve. If not... good luck anyway.


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