Reading a short screenplay I wrote a few years ago, what’s holding it back is the way I’ve written its action lines. So, back to basics – an action line check list.
Part one, the English lesson:
- Screenplays are written in present tense.
- Try not to use as, while, are, then or is.
- Avoid verbs ending in “ing“.
- Use adverbs sparingly.
Part two, the content lesson:
- Only write what you can see or hear.
- Never give camera directions or write “we see…”.
Part three, the specific lesson:
- Each action paragraph should be 3 lines or less.
- Make each action line a single visual direction.
Any thoughts on part one and two or additions to part three, please pass them on!