Script format, anyone?

There are a few things to consider when typing up a script. For example, how would you indicate where your scene is taking place and why is it important? What are the different tap positions in scripts and what are they for they?

There is script writing software that can help you with the actual typing of your script. I have seen people use MS Word for this, but it is very time-consuming to sort out all the ‘presets’ that you would need in terms of the required tab positions, margins and capitalisations in script layouts. Script-writing software sort these out for you and it will make typing faster; meaning you can focus on being creative. Halting the creative flow would be counter-productive, and I feel that using Word would do just that. You may think that it will break the bank buying Final Draft or Scrivener, but they are not too expensive and may be worth the investment if you wish to type up scripts quickly. There is also free software, such as the cloud-based Celtx (paid desktop version available).

I personally use Adobe Story (as it came with my Adobe Creative Cloud package) or Celtx (desktop version).  Most providers will let you download a trial version of their software.

Coming Soon – Adobe Story video tutorial. Sign-up or follow Crossfade to stay posted.

Here are a few rules to keep in mind:

Font: Courier.
Font Size: 12pt.
Cover page: title of the script, your name, and address.
First page: <FADE IN:> in the top right-hand side.
Pages: numbered.
Average script size: 120 pages (= 2 hrs).
Scene heading/slug line: start with INT., EXT. or EXT./INT. to indicate if indoors, outdoors or indoors and outdoors. Then add LOCATION and if it is DAY or NIGHT, DAWN or DUSK (Harris, 2014, pp-310-311).
Action/direction: describe what you see, indicate sound effects in capital letters; and capitalise the name of a character when they first appear in the ‘action’ text.
Dialogue: CHARACTER in capital letters.
If dialogue interrupted: Use (CONT’d) after CHARACTER’s name.

Screen shot of script in Adobe Story



HARRIS, C. (2014) Complete screenwriting course. London: Teach Yourself.

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