Scenes To Be Seen


Many readers complain that they read scripts with pointless scenes. Filling the page isn’t a good enough reason for a script to be written.

Ensure your scene is visual and there are several things happening on the screen as characters speak.

Ask yourself, what is each scene really about? This is different from what’s going on. One is about plot progression and character development and the other is activity in a scene which may or may not be of consequence to the main plot. What are you trying to accomplish in each scene?

Beware of “on the nose” dialogue. It’s crass, direct and unsatisfying. It’s almost as bad as ethereal, spacy, incomprehensible dialogue. Knowing how to use a thesaurus won’t impress the reader if they don’t know what’s going on. Use subtext and snappy banter.

It’s okay to put placeholder dialogue in the early stages of your script. It’s important to note that humans process visual cues thousands of times faster than verbal ones, so gestures, actions, expressions and looks resonate more with audiences. However, words can activate visual cues, so what is said can influence our visual processes. Dialogue is more important in comedy which relies on jokes, witty one liners and water cooler moments.

Dialogue should be conversational, responsive and interactive. It’s not a platform for monologues, soliloquies or recitals.

Make each scene count. If it can be removed without upsetting the story logic of your script, it can probably be edited out.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Mary Hackett says:

    As a script reader/analyst, this is my pet peeve. Too many useless scenes filled with one-time characters. Thank you for pulling attention to this.

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