Of Writers and Prose: Visual Writer? Try Writing a Script!

Quill-InkSome of you may know that I write scripts. Haven’t sold any yet, but I did enter a contest in the summer for my short script BLESS YOU (there’s a reason we say it after we sneeze).

I’m a visual writer; I picture a scene in my mind before I write it down. Seeing how things unfold first takes up a lot of time but it allows me to understand what’s happening a lot better and find things that I might have missed and could use to foreshadow. This could be the reason it takes me so long to write anything, but it’s trained me to look beyond what’s happening and delve deep into the plot before I’ve written one word. It’s also why script writing is such a perfect medium for me.

There are a few ‘rules’ one must follow for script writing;

  1. As much white space as possible. You only write what the moviegoer will see and hear on the screen. No long prose describing scenes or internal monologues, literally what you see is what you get. The majority of the story must be carried with dialogue. It sounds easy, but once you realize how difficult a story can be told with just dialogue, it can become a challenge.

 

  1. There are ‘set’ pages limits for scripts. Unlike novels where a new writer can write a long manuscript and get it published, if you’re writing a pilot for a television show it has to be between forty-five to fifty pages (one page for every minute), and ninety to one-hundred and twenty pages for a feature film. The length of a short film can vary and short script contests will accept anything from one page to twenty.

 

Just like novels, you need interesting characters with their own voice and an interesting story. I like it because it teaches me to focus on the scene that I’m writing and I use that skill on my novels. What’s happening? Where is it? Who’s involved? What are they doing? How are they doing it? It sounds easy, but if only have a few sentences to describe action and character, it isn’t. Add in a realistic dialogue and it’s a real challenge. More than once I’ve found myself wandering around the house talking to myself making sure what the characters are saying sounds right.

I think all writers should try it, at least once. It’s a great learning curve. Have you ever written a script? Did you like it?

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About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

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