Regarding "stacking actions" in paragraphs.



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  • Regarding "stacking actions" in paragraphs.

    In a screenwriting book I have, Trottier mentions that "stacking actions" is gaining favour as it is easier to read, or skim through. This book is a little dated and out of the three screenwriting books I've read it is the only one that mentions it. I was wondering if this way of creating paragraphs as oppose to not stacking action is the way to go - how much does it really matter? Playing to the reader would imply that stacking action is preferred - is this correct?

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Stacked Like Me

    Everything depends on what you what the reader to feel. A major part of screenwriting is giving the reader the same emotional experience they would have watching the movie. Action stacking tends to create a faster pace than a paragraph. There are times in my scripts when I stack and times when I use paragraphs - it depends on how I want the reader to feel.

    - Bill


    • #3
      Stacking action is all about the white. Readers love it. It's like speed reading. They quickly get the gist of a block because it's so small.

      Is it necessary? No. I tend to keep action blocks to two or three lines. I think it reads quick. And well placed dialogue breaks it up.

      It's a matter of preference really. I write horizontal because I have details I need in the script. Little ones that have to be there. And putting it on a single line would run my scripts too far over a hundred.

      Do what feels right. Vertical writing, stacking, whatever you want to call it isn't for everyone.