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Old 08-18-2011, 02:46 PM   #1
Downontheupside
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Default Description Lines And Grammar

Hi Guys,

I was curious about this, and I was hoping to see if someone could shed some light on it. Sorry if this seems arbitrary.

If you open an action line with the subject, is it acceptable to then lose the he/she/they/name for the following actions on the same line? I think it reads quicker, and I've seen it done in other scripts; however, it does create fragments.

Just as an example:

INT. STORE

John enters. Draws his gun. Meets the clerk's nervous glare.

Commas would be incorrect without connecting words like and, then, etc, and adding those words would make it more cumbersome. The same for putting he or John before everything.

Like:

INT. STORE

John enters. He draws his gun. He meets the clerk's nervous glare.

Can anyone help out on this?
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Description Lines And Grammar

I want to say depends on style. But I'll tell you, I'm going with option 1 over option 2 every single time.

Option 2 just annoys the hell out of me.

Sacrifice grammar for the cleaner read. I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts -- I'm only a newbie

Edit: Unless you really want to change the speed to draw a scene out.
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Description Lines And Grammar

Quote:
Commas would be incorrect without connecting words like and, then, etc, and adding those words would make it more cumbersome.


I'm also just fine with this:

John enters, draws his gun, meets the clerk's nervous glare.

The described scene is tense, so get readers eyes from the top of the page then to the bottom, fast. You do this with the way you write and the content. Unless of course you're trying to slow them down for whatever reason.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
emily blake
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Default Re: Description Lines And Grammar

Fragment sentences are the staple of the screenplay world.
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Description Lines And Grammar

+1 for what's been said. If it's the same person, no need to repeat pronouns. Preferable that you don't.
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:31 PM   #6
Downontheupside
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Default Re: Description Lines And Grammar

Thanks for all your input. I appreciate it.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Description Lines And Grammar

Yes, it's a style thing. Here's two more:

John bolts in, draws gun, meets clerk's nervous glare.

John bolts in ... draws gun ... meets clerk's nervous glare.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Description Lines And Grammar

John bolts in. He draws his gun and meets the clerk's nervous glare.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Description Lines And Grammar

As long as you don't sacrifice clarity, fragments and other pieces of incorrect grammar are entirely fine if not expected. Keep in mind, though: there are some grammatical rules you can break and others you can't. Capitalization, sentence fragments, liberal use of dashes and colons and weird line spacing and interjections and whathaveyou -- go for it. Subject/object disagreement, incorrect use of commas, split infinitives, getoffamylawn.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Description Lines And Grammar

The fragmented sentences really help make the script a breeze.
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