Let’s Discuss! Why Am I Struggling With Writing A Script?

Hi everyone! Today’s post is more about writing than books, but I figure it may still be interesting. It’s also going to be pretty long – so grab a cup of your favourite beverage and settle down!

As some of you may know, I’ve recently started studying Media & Journalism at college. One of my units until Christmas is scriptwriting – which is exactly what it sounds like! I have until December to write a fully finished, 10-15 page script. Sound easy? It’s really not!

Although I’m enjoying this subject (my tutor is great, too!), I am finding myself slipping into a few petty habits. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to scripts…but I also have an inkling it may be something to do with writing fiction before! Here’s a few things I’ve found myself doing:

Describing things way too much

A script needs to be the bare basics, apart from setting the tone and making sure it’s easy to visualise. But I can’t help feeling I’m going a little over the top with it.

Almost describing what the character is thinking or feeling

This has to be the worst thing – in a script, you can’t start talking about things inside the characters head! The script is never seen by the public when they’re watching the movie – you don’t have a narrator saying “Bella is unsure about Edward. She feels curious about who he really is…and what he does when he’s not at school”.

Instead, this needs to be shown through their dialogue and body language. As a scriptwriter, you can always explain how they should look or pose a question. But when you’re not used to doing this, it’s really hard not to randomly start talking behind-the-scenes. The only way I’ve found you can include a characters thoughts is through narrating – and that’s definitely been helping me write my script so far! Which kind of brings me to…

Struggling to write dialogue

For homework, I watched the entire Twilight movie and recorded how long every single dialogue scene was. As it’s a romance, their is more dialogue than most movies…but in the end, it (including narrating), took up a whole 1 and a half hours of a the 2 hour movie. That means 75% of the movie is dialogue! You might not think that’s a lot, but how often do you find a book with 75% of dialogue? I can’t think of one at all.

As an avid bookworm, I’m used to the majority of a book being description and the protagonists thoughts and feelings. This may explain not only why I’m struggling to write dialogue, but also why I keep talking about what’s going on in my script character’s heads.

Thanks for reading such a long and detailed post! I hope (even though this wasn’t strictly about books), that you enjoyed taking a little delve into the scriptwriting world.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


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