For the month of March, I asked SEVERAL questions regarding fave sites for writers, advice, differences and similarities between the different media platforms in regards to writing, etc. When I asked, For those of you who write for different arenas – big screen, boob tube, stage, page, web – what are elements that differ for you as the writer in regards to how you SEE the story unfolding in each arena, Dagnal-Myron replied, “I only write for the big screen and the “page,” so I can only speak for those two. But the difference is that when writing a novel or an article, I can offer both action and the “motivation” for what the character is doing in words on that page. A script is all “action.” You’re showing, not telling. What a character does has to carry that story, and the power is in what the character does even more than what he says. In fact, if you write about what a character is thinking in a script it will receive a quick “pass.” When writing a “story,” you can have the character ruminate, think aloud, discuss.
“You can also spend a whole page on description, to set a mood or make a point, when writing fiction. You create a whole world with words. Script writing has to be very economical, and exposition is to be avoided like the plague. In other fiction I can tell you what music is playing, what the character looks like, what perfume she wears. In a script, they frown upon this, because in the end, none of that will be decided by the screenwriter. So there are remarkable differences–glad you asked! I hadn’t really thought about it this seriously before, though it’s something I work with everyday.”
To read the rest of Cynthia Dagnal-Myron’s comments on screenwriting, head to All the Blog’s a Page!
And while there, check out the screenwriting features from Stephen Kogon, Brian Spaeth, Kristin Johnson, and John W. Bosley!