Len asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 1 month ago

When writing a screenplay,can you mention the location if said location is in the slugline already? For example...?


Upon entering Corey's room...

1 Answer

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's not a question of "can," it's just bad writing and it shows poor screenwriting skills which, in the long run, will get you canned. 

    When writing a screenplay, you should always keep in mind that the job of your screenplays is first and foremost to sell YOU, the writer (in order to land representation and writing gigs, then to pitch and maybe sell if you're extremely lucky), and if you're extremely lucky then it's to serve as a blueprint for a movie/TV show/whatever. Which means they need to be reader-friendly. 

    With that in mind, only include the information the reader needs to know. No more no less. Any redundant information or words only take up space and annoy the reader. Repeating the location IS redundant. The reader already knows it. When you will try to get your foot in the door, readers (the assistants or in-house readers of managers or producers, most likely) will stop reading the second they see something like this. They almost never read all the way through as it is. That's because an experienced eye can tell a person's skill level just by taking a glance at the first page, or ever before that. They have a huge pile of scripts sitting on their desk just waiting to be read. They're looking for reasons to reject you and move on. They might not even start reading your screenplay if the page count is rather high (for example because of all the redundant info and lack of editing). So it'll just get tossed and you'll probably never hear back. 

    So learn how to edit! Hone your skill! Develop the instincts that tell you what I just told you! And do your homework - learn all about this business and how it works! As a screenwriter you need to be part businessperson. The two go-hand-in-hand. 

    In this little example, what you *should* do is:


    Sarah storms in. She snatches Corey's backpack and runs the **** out of there. 

    The end. 

    This is just an example of course. But notice a few things I did there: 

    First, I corrected your slugline. Secondly, I omitted your redundant info and edited it into a short and to-the-point description. Third, I chose strong verbs and words, no adverbs (they're redundant as well!), as well as this sentence structure, to describe exactly the picture I see in my head. The reader can't read minds after all. So now they know the mood, tone and pace I'm trying to capture in addition to the action. Fourth, I sacrificed some page space for the sake of my writer's voice - research that too, understand why it's important. 

    This is the power of description. That's the kind of things you need to learn how to do. Screenwriting is a tough craft. You questioned your choice of repetition, that's a good sign. 

    • ...Show all comments
    • Something Blue
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      Unless, of course, the previous scene continues into the said scene. I assumed it's not the case here since you wrote DAY and not CONTINUED in your heading. 

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