dash or dot in slugline, etc.



No announcement yet.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • dash or dot in slugline, etc.

    dash, dot or hyphen: What should be used in the sluglines?

    If a character's full is to be mentioned later, should it be indicated (in parenthesis) when he/she is introduced?...

    This is BOBBY (also BOBBY REISS), U.S. Navy SEAL veteran, still in his early 40s, even as he ponders the twilight and aftermath of his career.

    In a flashback, can I re-introduce Bobby this:

    This boy is Bobby at age 14.

    Thank you for any feedback.:rollin

  • #2

    doesn't matter. pick the one you like.

    indicate full name immediately upon introduction. then choose to use it or not later on.

    a flashback is best indicated in the slugline, and then introduce your character like you would normally, but with the different age.


    • #3

      Dash, dot or hyphen: Whatever you like. Make it yours.
      (but tell me, what's the difference between a dash and a hyphen?)

      Why wouldn't you say BOBBY REISS to begin with?

      In flashback, how about: Bobby (at 14)...

      I know you were just giving an example, but STYLISTICALLY, "This is Bobby at age 14" falls flat. Not that what I wrote is any better, but in this instance, what's important is his age, and nothing more, so why take up the space to say anything more. It's that much harder for your reader to digest.

      Good Luck.


      • #4
        We didn't plan that.

        Did we, Strange?


        • #5
          Re: Answers

          A dash is two hyphens. Some word processors will blend the two together to form a dash.


          • #6
            full name


            I got your point re: "BOBBY REISS." But, checking back for more feedback, I realized my typing error. My description actually goes like this:

            This is BOBBY (also ROBERT REISS)...*

            *Now, I use BOBBY throughout, except for DIALOG LINES where he is addressed/referred to as LT. (later CAPT.) ROBERT REISS.

            So, did I do it right the first time?

            Allow me another question:

            Without the CUT TO, is it write to right:

            THIS BOY

            is Bobby (at 14), atop a mound, preparing to dive into the water.



            • #7
              Hi Ferds,

              Not sure if you'll find this helpful or not, but in "Forrest Gump", when Roth introduces Forrest as a boy he calls him "young Forrest" and uses the date in the slug (long slug, too!):


              Hope this helps!


              • #8
                Re: full name


                if he is only going to be called LT. ROBERT REISS in some instances you can keep BOBBY because we all know that BOBBY is simply short for ROBERT. you won't have to spell it out for us. but if he is going to be called LT. ROBERT REISS in ALL of the dialogue, then you should not be calling him BOBBY in your prose at all. stick to ROBERT or just call him REISS.

                yes you can do -

                THIS BOY


                it's a good way of using a CUT TO without using it.


                • #9
                  How about this.

                  This is ROBERT "BOBBY" REISS...

                  ...and I concur with Strange (of course) on the THIS BOY bit.

                  As long as you keep his name consistent in the narrative and the dialogue headings (when he speaks), you'll be fine. Other characters can refer to him by his full name as it applies, since you've said from the start he is LT. ROBERT "BOBBY" REISS, or whatever you decide to say.

                  I read a script yesterday (not one of my clients, nor one of my submissions, so you're all safe) that referred to one character as 4 different names and I (needless to say) couldn't keep him straight, which of course, frustrated me to no end. Keep it simple, and keep it clear.


                  • #10
                    So, what if the first time we see the carachter is in a flashback?

                    Rick (Age 14)

                    Then the next time we see him (Present day) should read

                    Rick (Age 35)



                    • #11

                      When is the VERY FIRST time we see him? In present day, or flashback?

                      Only the first time should be capitalized, because it's still the same character.

                      Actor--but a double dash is a hyphen, for machines that don't make hyphens. So was the original question a matter of one dash or two? If so, it still doesn't matter. I've even seen INT. GARAGE. NIGHT.

                      They all say the same thing. And as someone covered elsewhere on this forum, some don't even use the slugs in that capacity anymore. Cool. As long as no one's confused.

                      (like me with this dash, double-dash, hyphen business...)


                      • #12
                        Re: Okay

                        Wow! The frustrations we writers put ourselves through. (I have my own little nit-picky things I go back and forth on.)

                        Dash, dot or hyphen? It sooooooooo doesn't matter. Really. Truly. Not one bit. As for your 'Bobby' stuff... whatever makes it clearer for the reader. When in doubt, just write it cleanly with as little fuss as possible. That's what I do.


                        • #13
                          Re: dash or dot in slugline, etc. - Choice of character name

                          A different clarity of thought - (I think . . .)

                          Choice of character name & flashbacks, etc.

                          If the story covers a 'biography of years', the story conclusion will have the character known as? Well, certainly an older person.

                          So: Intro of that CHARACTER works best for a reader by how CHARACTER is known by at the <!--EZCODE UNDERLINE START-->conclusion<!--EZCODE UNDERLINE END--> of the film?


                          Because isn't that how the 'audience' will remember CHARACTER after leaving the film?

                          Isn't that how we know people? CHARACTER is people. Even at the end of lives, we don't remember people by their 'kid' nicknames but by â€-whatâ€TM they were known as at time of death.

                          So: if REIS is known as REIS at the end of the film, 'age date' REIS during the progress of the script. The very first intro of REIS (years14 to 70) for the reader indicates that he's an adult, or aged, not a kid at the conclusion of the script; so, from that the reader will expect (and readily recognize) REIS (age 14), REIS (age40) without difficulty. Backstory and flashback work easily for our friendly reader who (already) knows that REIS will eventually be REIS (age 70)! One name, differing ages. Clarity. Brevity.

                          It reads kind of weird to see a 70 year old called PIPSQUEAK as against REIS (age 14) being called Pipsqueak in dialog.

                          Readers like to be able to 'expect' rather than be 'confused' - clarity, conformity, brevity for them is a gift from us.