Why do you use BOLD in an action description?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I don't see anything wrong with bolding here and there for emphasis. But it should be used very little. It helps with high actions scenes. I try to look at it like this...it's an easier way for me to show that something is prominent in a beat then saying ANGLE ON or something.
    I am certainly no expert - just another writer with an opinion. And Iâ€TMm not disagreeing with your post - but:

    A good novelist will write a great, high action scene without using a single capitalized word for emphasis. And a really great writer will put very vivid pictures in my head without using ANGLE ON or any mention of a camera.

    Which make me wonder:

    Canâ€TMt a screen writer write just as vivid?

    I know I try. And I know when I read a script without these elements, itâ€TMs a much smother read.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    kojled....cool....:hat

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    v655321

    i didn't say there weren't lots of quality writers who use lots of all caps and lots of sold scripts with lots of all caps in them and that new writers shouldn't copy what they see in these scripts. i said something else. if you want to disagree with what i said then disagree with what i said and don't make up something i didn't say and say that i said it so that you can then disagree with it

    further - if you had written your post in huge font, red, and underlined, i might have been swept away by the power of your argument. but, as typed, it's not compelling or objective


    z

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I disagree with kojled.

    While there are certainly writers that do use it as a crutch, I don't think it indicative of one. There are plenty of quality screenwriters, including working ones, that will use capitalized writing prior to the shooting draft.

    That being said, it should be done intelligently. Don't drown the page in it. If you use common sense you obtain from reading other bought-and-sold work, you should be fine. The Aliens example is a good one.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    for sound effects: 'bang, snap', etc. otherwise, best to avoid. makes script look tacky. the words should convey meaning - not the way they are typed. weak writing can't be made better by changing its presentation on the page. if that were the case all you'd have to do would be write in giant font, red, underlined, etc

    this isn't the case

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Code:
     EXT. SPACESHIP - DAY
    
     
    
    Ripley gasps.  The chittering horror BURSTS from her chest, blood SPLATTERS across the spaceship floor.
    
     
    
    She stammers back.  The creature SCREECHES and looks up at her.
    
     
    
                           CREATURE
    
                     Beware!  I am death!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I read advice once and it looked like this:

    "You don't NEED to capitalize anything. People will use CAPS for everything and anything, but is it IMPORTANT? Well, it ISN'T. Trust me."


    The author was totally unaware of what she had done.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I got some of the best advice on this board when I started my 2nd script. I posted my first 3 (or 10, can't remember) pp. on the appropriate bb and someone, can't recall who, but thanks, whoever it was, said at the top of their post:

    "Wendy, I don't need all the caps. It disrupts the read."

    And I, like you, was trying to go by what I'd read in a handful of scripts, and a few how-to books. Now I only use them when introducing a character for the first time, or when I feel that I will burst if I don't use it - (most often for a vital SOUND, or plot-critical OBJECT).

    Use sparingly; I pass the torch of subtle CAPS on to you, Little Grasshopper.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Do they seriously call the alien a "chittering horror?"

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I don't see anything wrong with bolding here and there for emphasis. But it should be used very little. It helps with high actions scenes. I try to look at it like this...it's an easier way for me to show that something is prominent in a beat then saying ANGLE ON or something.

    Just don't over do it. You don't need it for simple, uncomplicated action.

    Ele...

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Oops. I meant CAPS, not bold.

    Thanks for the quick edit,

    I gotta read A Nightmare on Elm street before bed. Maybe eat some cheese and hope to have a few nightmares myself? :x

    D.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The same as you would anywhere else. A point of emphasis. See also: PipeWriter's post.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I always feel the reader isn't smart enough.

    I cap one or two words per script (outside the requisite caps) because I feel like it, and I underline one or two phrases per scipt that I don't want the reader to skim.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Your work either has the emotional impact it needs or it doesn't. Playing tricks with the font size won't help you. CAP a character the first time they appear in the script and that's it.

    As for your sample? You're telling waaaaaay to much. Give actions that show emtion, don't tell us emotoins. Is he nervouse? give actions that portray that emotion, don't tell us. Any dork can do that.

    The art of storytelling comes in showing the emotion through action- not flat out telling.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I never use bold. I sometimes underline a word in dialogue just in case the emphasis isn't clear for the reader. But maybe once or twice in a script.

    "He sits down on the filthy public TOILETTE to answer the phone."

    Why on earth would you capitalize that? Is there something about the toilet that makes it special? If there is a convention, it's to capitalize sounds. Sometimes I'll capitalize important actions. "John SMASHES Bill in the face." That sorta dealy.

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