An excerpt from my script review for The House with a Clock in its Walls which will be available 12/10/18:
4.) Dialogue and Description
Similar to the “mental sigh” I had last week, I was very nervous when I saw the first page was all description.
Where this script differed from 3way’s beloved Sherlock Holmes v. Dracula unproduced number was this tone moved things along nicely.
Instead of droning on and on, the details given pertained to the story and were entertaining.
This is ISAAC IZZARD, and if you’re not scared of him, you will be.
Wait– do we—is that something—or someone—standing between the moonlit trees? A SHROUDED FIGURE, in a gray, grimy hood. If you blink you’ll miss it.
Two quick examples, and I apologize there’s not more, as copy was a scan. But I urge you to read it!
Conveying your visuals through an entertaining tone makes the reader fly through your script (even if it’s actually taking them a decent portion of their afternoon to do so).
Where overdescription was acceptable in the past, modern day readers default to whitespace, so if you can’t create that and must establish certain details, you better find a clever and entertaining way to do so.
Page 22 – Talking about a sea of playground children and calling Lewis a “lonely port” in said sea. Fantastic metaphor.
Page 53 – Jonathan finds a secret door in a room full of life sized clockwork figures. The “mental visual” of him doing so is awesome (even if I have to suspend a bit of disbelief that he only now just figured it out after how many years).
Page 58 – We switch from Lewis raising the dead to Jonathan finding the blueprints of the clock coded in a cipher. The phrasing used for that transition? “A triple back gainer from the pan to the fire.” Really nice.
These things were all good, and worth going over if you’re looking for ideas on how to spice up your own writing style.
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