Friday, May 06, 2005

Screenwriting That Pops! part 2068...

USE THE PRESENT TENSE ...

If you want the reader to feel your story and be "in the moment" - then write it that way.

NOT:

Johnny is pointing the gun at his wife and pulling the trigger...

BUT:

Johnny points the gun at his wife, pulls the trigger and...

Lesson brought to you by two scripts I read today.

Now all you little pulpsters have a good weekend. And remember, if you can't be good, then don't get caught!

4 comments:

Gary P said...

So it doesn't matter on the genre then, i.e.
Historical should use past tense:
Johnny pointed the gun.

SciFi/ Futuristic uses future tense:
Johny will point the gun.

A SciFi mystery uses future conditional:
Johnny might point the gun, he could pull the trigger.

This way 'Back to the Future' would be an interesting script to read :)

Jeff O'Brien said...

Present tense. I do a search and take out all the "ing's" I can.

Bill Cunningham said...

I read two scripts on friday and both just laid there. This was the problem they had and it's a common one.

There is room for using the passive voice(ing words):

Johnny races across the room, firing his pistol at every zombie child who crosses his path...

Jeff O'Brien said...

Johnny races across the room, fires his pistol at every zombie child who crosses his path... ?