Writing You Don’t Need

Screenwriter John Rogers offers some excellent screenwriting advice on his blog today.

Your scene descriptions and actions — don’t waste time on specifics. Somebody
else is going to visualize the set, someone else is going to design the set,
someone else is going shoot on that set. Don’t write for the storyboard, write
what the TONE of the set is, conveying how it informs the actions, creates the
context for the characters within. Is this limiting? No, it’s freeing. It’s
paradoxically MORE power. You’re creating the world, mood, story — let other
people sweat the window size and wallpaper pattern.

Character intros:
gahhhh. I never, ever want to read a line of character backstory again. The
audience will know this character by what he says and what he does. (in that
sense, in-script backstory is actually cheating) The actor will create whatever
mindspace/backstory for the character they need to work the person up on screen.
Just get the best, snappiest description of who this person is — not how they
dress or how they talk or how their goddam hair’s cut, but who that character
is in the
script-world– and move the fuck on. Again, not saying we’re just typists. Not
saying it has to be bland. The challenge is to create the most telling
impression in the fewest words.

Don’t sit their like so many screenwriters
and try to jam whatever central casting idea of a character you have into the
reader’s head — create the notion necessary for the reader to complete the
image of the script in his head, to personalize it, and move on with the

Great stuff. And there’s more, much more. Check it out.

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