An excerpt from my script review for No One Will Save You (Hulu) which will be available 09/25/23:
4.) Dialogue and Description
What do you do if you’re not going to have any dialogue?
This script right here is a great example demonstrating that limited (or zero) dialogue can be done.
Okay, sure there were a few lines, but for the most part it’s page after page of blackspace!
That said, aside from a single instance of “walls of text” everything is broken up into short, quick images.
This is a must if you’re going the no/limited dialogue route.
INT. BASEMENT – DAY
This is where she works.
Reams of fabric. Drawers of buttons. Sewing machine.
A list of her Etsy orders.
Brynn does a little more work on a dress.
The work makes her happy.
She finishes off a dress and carefully folds it.
Wraps a bow around it.
Like it was the most special thing in the world.
Hand writes a thank you note and pins it to the ribbon.
She places the dress delicately in a bubbled envelope.
Already addressed with incredible penmanship.
She prints out a stamp herself.
A vintage alarm clock rings. She hits it and gathers her
In about half a page, we learn how Brynn pays the bills, that she enjoys her solitude, and even a bit of her intricate demeanor.
Not only is this style of description easy on the eyes, it’s easier on the brain.
And it’s almost night.
Adrenaline replaces exhaustion as she hurtles down the
That “RUN, BRYNN!” is an excellent technique and one I encourage…no implore you…to use in your own writing.
Think about the image it’s conveying…
Brynn’s walking home, after finding no help in town, and knows the aliens will be back that night.
These two words easily display the fear and urgency that motivates the character’s reaction to this situation.
Now…the GIANT wall of text…?
“She can’t move” being repeated for an ENTIRE page.
Brynn’s paralyzed in the spaceship’s “tractor beam” and one pissed off alien is hunting her down.
That’s a scary scenario, and again, using a simple phrase we can “see” her struggle to get out.
What makes it damn near genius is that the writer sprinkles in other actions inside the wall of “shecantmove” that delivers the tense situation that’s unfolding.
Nineteen other actions happen inside the text, but all as Brynn is fighting to escape.
It was awesome.
My single critique here though is it only works once.
Overuse a style like this and readers go from being impressed to becoming annoyed.
Without copying this technique exactly, can you come up with your own creative writing technique to stand out?
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