Friday, April 1, 2011

A Long Affair

I have a love affair with script.

Not just movies, either. With theatre and film and even TV. There's something about script that speaks to me in a way that the novel does not.

Maybe it is the fact that a script is about the language. The way people talk. Things like describing the scene and setting can be taken care of in as few words as possible if you so desire, and you don't have to worry about the he said and she said and varying your structure in regards to that. It is talk, pure and simple. When you remove the fluff that comes with trying to make your language flow and sound normal and just write like people talk, a world of possibilities opens up.

Take the following, for example.

Rachel walked in the house, slamming the screen door behind her, "I ain't never going back." She said emphatically, "Never."

Now read it as a script:

Rachel walks in, slams screen door.
RACHEL: (Emphatically) I ain't never going back. Never.

Blunt, to the point. Same words, same scene, but in my mind, there is a difference. Rachel peels off the page in the script, at least for me. No longer is she just a girl who walks in with an attitude. This time, she walks in in her cut off shorts, ponytail bobbing as she shakes her head. Maybe it is just because I see all my ideas as movies. Writing them as a script brings them back to 3-D in my head. As I adapt the prose version that sometimes precedes a script, I start to hear the music, the street sounds, the smells, everything. It comes to life in my mind the way that my novels never quite do.

I find it especially fitting that I post this on April 1. At midnight when this posts, the Frenzy starts. A  month dedicated entirely to script, to the celebration of this art form.

Let it begin.


  1. Oh how I wish I had that talent. I just don't think that I am a strong enough writer not to depend on the crutch of extraneous exposition. But it is a cool skill. Hemingway had it, as demonstrated in "Hills Like White Elephants."

  2. Wow. I'd never read that before. Wow. That's awesome.

    Yeah, I'm a better dialogue writer than an expository writer. My action and scene descriptions tend to be not as good as my dialogue. That's why I lvoe script.