There are No Rules in Screenwriting
If your script is amazing
Okay, what I’m about to say sounds obvious. But this is a note I have to give all the time to my coaching clients and students. YOU ARE WRITING A MOVIE (OR A TELEVISION SHOW). Not a novel, short story, essay, poem, theme paper, Haiku…you get the idea. And when you are writing for film or TV, you are always writing what is actually on the screen. What you see or hear on the damn screen. Not the unheard voice in a character’s head, or her secret thoughts. Or what happened ten years ago or what might happen next week. Or some running commentary by you the writer. Just what’s happening in this scene, this moment, right now. That is the medium you are working with. Sound, music, picture, dialogue, subtext, action, tone, pace, style, your personal voice, those are the colors in your pallet. All those elements tell the reader, or the audience, what people are thinking or feeling.
What your characters do, reveal who they are and what they want.
So, I repeat, with emphasis, you are writing what can be seen or heard on the screen. That’s the craft, that’s what we do. Break this rule at your own peril, and if you do…nail it.