COVERSCRIPT TIPS – Screenwriting Style

Screenplay writing style is all about simplicity.

That does not mean that it’s simple to do.

It just means the style itself is simple — as in clean, unfussy, uncluttered, minimalistic.

It consists of:

Writing as economically as possible what the audience will see on the screen and hear from the sound system in the order they will see it and hear it and all in the active present tense.

And writing in this style, you have to:

– capture the essence of the characters

– give them depth and dimension

– capture their different emotional states throughout the piece

– show what’s going on with them internally via external actions and minimal dialogues

– craft the plot so that there is a twist or two

– and/or an unexpected moment or two

– and/or a surprise

– with well-crafted setups leading to satisfying payoffs

– done with an eye to “less is more” in every element

– and accomplish all that while keeping everything totally believable   

Again, the style is simple, doing it exceptionally well isn’t.

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