This week's answer:
the Story, Morning Glory
I understand, Confused. I saw
that description line and did a little pause, also.
It's very astute of you to notice. Very.
Yes, a screenwriting teacher or advocate or even the
author of "The Screenwriter's Bible" (you have
to wonder if that work wasn't really composed by many
inspired followers of the script consultant who spoke to
the masses of screenwriters from the mount, reminding them
of the Golden Rule: He who sells a screenplay gets
the gold and rules!) might take umbrage with such a
description, remarking that it is not correct. That
may be so according to the strictest of terms. But,
if you notice, the breaking of that rule did not stop a
producer from purchasing the screenplay (or shooting it).
Many novice screenwriters get bogged
down in the details to the point that they can't see the
bigger picture (and, if you're writing for a bigger
picture, you're definitely going to want to see that).
Time after time, I have received e-mails from
screenwriters who are overly concerned about formatting
rather than the writing, itself. No matter how
perfectly a screenplay is formatted, it won't be a
well-crafted one unless there is a good STORY. It's
as though some beginner screenwriters think all a
screenplay has to do is look good. How wrong
Yes, in "The Queen,"
instead of the descriptive line cited above, the
screenwriter could have written something like this:
"Her eyes widen and she becomes still, gazing upon a
beautiful deer." Actually, I think it was a
stag. The writer could have written it that way,
staying closer to the FIRST RULE OF SCREENWRITING
(trumpets blare): SHOW AND NOT TELL. But maybe
it's not all that awful to tell a little (please Gods of
Screenplays don't strike me down with a thunderbolt from
that laser printer in the sky), letting the reader use his
imagination a little more as he does when reading a novel
(or poem or play or the newspaper)
Although screenplay parameters are
important (if we didn't have them, story analysts would be
reading 300-paged scripts), it's the writing (I'll say it
again), the WRITING that counts.
I just realized that I'm not happy
with this e-mail. I think I'll change the font and