COVERSCRIPT TIPS – Screenplay writing style

Screenplay writing style is all about economic simplicity.

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

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

And done economically…as in using words sparingly and frugally…making each one count.

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 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 dialogs, craft the plot so that there is a twist or two, and/or an unexpected moment or two, and/or a surprise perhaps, with excellent setups and well-crafted payoffs, done with an eye to “less is more” in every element.

And it’s necessary to accomplish all of that, while keeping everything that’s said and done totally believable.  

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

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