Monday, November 9, 2009

Description, description, description....

How do you know that you must be a frustrated novelist? When you're a screenwriter and all your scripts contain loads of description! Paragraphs of it! 

This is my single biggest script-related problem and I'm battling it with every new draft I produce. I go to my screenwriting group every other week, read other people's beautifully sparse pages, full of white space and hang my head in shame. How do they do it?

Does anyone apart from me find themselves going over their scripts with a red pen, crossing out unnecessary hair colours and lines of action, slashing out pieces of scenery? How does anyone write a script where their main character is described simply as JOHN (21)?? 

Someday I will beat the description demon but until then, it's going to be painful....

2 comments:

Milanoguy said...

No Eilis you are not alone in this struggle.

I struggle with it every day, and as of yet no twelve step group comes to my assistance.

".. crossing out unnecessary hair colours and lines of action, slashing out pieces of scenery?.."

Well I've never put hair color into a script, but endless set description yes, yes yes.

Frustrated novelist no. Frustrated set designer I think so

Eilis Mernagh said...

People always say don't put hair colour in, but I think if someone has a redhead personality, it has to go in! And you have to say SOMETHING about your main character, otherwise no one knows how to start visualising 'em. It's knowing where to stop...