I’ve read my first draft of “The Beautymaker” all the way through, making notes along the way.
I’ve considered some of the ideas expressed by Richard Walter and tried to think in those terms when reading. Like no “. . .” and remove anything that doesn’t make the scene fall if deleted.
The interesting thing about removing unnecessary descriptions is what is left. No lengthy novels here, no sir. And with these short statements about what is happening, I’m supposed to show my splendor as a writer. Yeehaa!
Yes, I was ironic. But yet no, I wasn’t.
What I mean is, when I wrote an essay at school the result was judged by other criteria than it is now. A novel or short story can take its time, if it serves a purpose. A movie script cannot.
With one or two sentences – pretty short ones – I have to tell what’s going on in a particular scene. Because it is so fast the viewer of the image can tell what’s going on. A screenwriter cannot spend more paper on description than it takes for the audience to grasp the situation on the screen.
But these one or two sentences have to shine with skill, something that would seem like a huge contradiction.
But it is not.
Think of a haiku poem. It’s a Japanese form of poetry, rules a bit loosened up in its English form, but the idea is to paint an image with three short phrases.
After the storm
A boy wiping the sky
From the tables
- Darko Plazanin, Yugoslavia
It can be done. And there I find the challenge, and the fun, with writing screenplays.