Writing a good play script

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Writing a good play script

This is a guest post from Lia London. Lia is a writing coach, author, and blogger. You can connect with her at her blog or follow her on Twitter LiaLondon1. Establish and maintain a clear voice In a well-written play, each character has his own speech patterns.

Some ramble; some utter grunts. Some use flowery language; others are coarse. If they all sound alike, none feel genuine, and the audience senses a disconnect. Likewise, our voice — our character, if you will — should not sound like everyone else.

We may admire the way another person writes, but if we emulate too closely, we rob readers of diversity and run the risk of presenting only a stale copy. If we are writing a work that requires more than one voice, we should be careful that no given speaker flips back and forth between sounding like Dr.

Spock and Anne of Green Gables. That gets very distracting. Each voice should be distinct and consistent to ensure fluidity and credibility. This is not to say that a writer cannot be poetic and verbose in one essay, and practical and concise in another.

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But within a given text or persona, we need to make the voice clear. Speak in vernacular Characters on a stage need to convey their personalities through the way they speak, and the more natural the speech is, the more accessible the character. That is partly why plays are not written to sound like chemistry text books.

Depending on the venue, grammar rules can and ought to be flexible. Avoiding split infinitives, for instance, is a rule left over from Latin where infinitives are one word, not two. Is it really going to thoroughly unravel the message if I say I need to quickly run to the store for more eggs?

Intentional disregard for a rule can create a timing or mood effect that enhances the writing. Conscious use of fragments, for example, can direct pacing or add emphasis. Anyone who has ever had to transcribe candid speech can tell you that. Some sentences contain more switchbacks and drop-offs than a hike in the Gorge.

A word of caution: A communication world without proper punctuation gets messy and confused very quickly. Thus we need to know the rules of grammar well enough to know when and how we can break them. Give stage directions In a script, there are often cues given to the actors as to how they should say their line: In casual writing, this usually involves things like bolds, italics, CAPS — em dashes — or ellipses… These tools, like the tweaks in grammar, aid in a sense of timing or emphasis, which in turn help convey the intended mood.

That said, we can overuse these tools easily. We should write the first draft without all the doodads, and then read it aloud to find out where the natural words of emphasis are. Or could someone logically punch up a different word, and thereby change the meaning? If so, add the cue. It gets too visually busy and pulls away from the import of the words that do receive special font treatment.

Audiences should ideally be able to pick up on the context from the dialog and action. A well-placed line can give attentive listeners information about the past and clues about the future. Our readers are smart enough.

We can get our message across without stating and restating the obvious. Well-crafted scripts make sure that questions are left unanswered and conflicts left unresolved at the end of each act so that the audience will keep coming back for more.

When writing, we need to be aware of the adrenaline levels of our readers. Are they metaphorically on the edge of their seats, wanting more?Nov 23,  · How to Write a Script. Scripts are good setups for writing and maneuvering a show.

writing a good play script

Whether you're writing it for an upcoming show, or just trying to see how your talents can be shown, to write a script, follow these guidelines%(). How to write a play - Read and watch plays.

The first step in writing anything at all is to get to know the form. If you want to be a poet, you have to read poetry. Best Inexpensive Script Writing Software: Highland.

Highland is a minimalist, distraction-free software that utilizes plain text. This means that your script is readable in any text editor and can move easily on and off of any device. alphabetnyc.com | Buy Plays, Find Plays | Every Play in the World.

Writing a Minute play is easy! All you have to do is come up with an ingenious idea, figure an inventive and enthralling stage mechanism, employ riveting and tender characters, serve boiling hot action, and implant sensational dialog.

How to Write a Play - Part 1

He received his B.A. magna cum laude in Dramatic Writing and Literature from Harvard College and his M.F.A. in Playwriting from UCLA. Creator of the book Young Playwrights and the course Introduction to Playwriting, .

How to Write a Play Script (with Pictures) - wikiHow