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Fun Joel's Screenwriting Blog


-- On Screenwriting and Related Topics

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

I moved from NYC to LA in October, 2003. And though I still think NYC is the greatest city in the world, I'm truly loving life here in the City of Angels. I'm a writer, reader, and occasional picture-taker.

Monday, August 01, 2005

A Formatting Question, and Teasers...

First off, I must apologize for the lack of serious posting this past week. It's been busy for me. But today I received my first real question emailed from the site, so I figured it would form a good segue back into things. Then I'll offer a few teasers of posts I hope to write soon, and another update.

So, John Donald Carlucci wrote to ask me:

How would you handle dialogue between two people when one is on an intercom/walkie-talkie?

Well, you must know by now that I'm not much of a stickler for format for format's sake. To me, the most important thing is that what you're writing is understood clearly by the reader. I don't think that means one should ignore format altogether, but I think when you get into a tricky pickle like this, just do what feels best.

Obviously, one way to do this would be to indicate in your Action element that one character is speaking on a walkie-talkie, and then follow the character cue with (v.o.), which I believe is more accurate here than (o.s.) since the character is not at the same location.

Another option, of course, and as suggested to JDC by Bill Cunningham, you can use "INTERCUT" to move between the two locations. I assume, however, that JDC was asking how to do it when one character was purposely being left unseen.

Anyhow, nothing groundbreaking, I admit, but still worth answering! And by the way, one of these days I'll get around to putting in the CSS code for one of these screenplay formats in my posts.


Next, I wanted to mention that the Screenwriter/Blogger Gathering is on. I've sent out the evite, so if any of you think you should be on it, and didn't receive it, please email me and let me know. I'll hook you up!


Finally, a few hints at what I'll be hopefully posting about soon, some spawned by things I've read on other blogs and want to respond to, and some that are just issues I've been mulling over.

There've been a few recent posts around the blogosphere about the difference between a Protagonist, a main character, and a hero. I've got some things to add to the discussion. Over at Man Bytes Hollywood, Dave is struggling with balancing the burning desire to write with the comfort that comes from a good full-time job. How well I know this struggle! The Thinking Writer also has an interesting post discussing the flaws he encountered regularly as a professional reader. I know them well, and I'll probably add a few more of my own.

I also want to post about pitching and podcasting, original ideas and how I develop ideas, good dialogue and great screenplays, and assorted other topics. If anyone has specific questions, or if any of these topics ring as particularly interesting, let me know!

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