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How to write a scenario case Study 5 : The stage directions

Comment écrire un scénario Etude de cas 5 : Les Didascalies

How to write a script : The stage directions

Case study 5

 

At the request of a writer aspiring assiduous, I’m going to try to explain to you what are the stage directions , but mostly what you must put.

But before all, I would like to draw your attention on the importance of stage directions. They must be easy to read, they should flow….that is to say, to be fluid so that they do not, there is also not the pace of the scenario. Each stage directions must be part of the scenario and not a thing to share.

It seems perhaps silly to say, but I read very often of stage directions which want to be literary, the words complicated, it is always a good….except that in one scenario, we do not seek a associate of the letters ! We’re looking for a storyteller, someone who transports us. For this it is necessary to the technique but mostly a lot of training and a lot a lot of reading.

 

Yes but read what ?

All. Scenarios, novels, essays. All that you can learn the simplicity of the sentences, punctuation and vocabulary. For this, no need for you to type of Flaubert, Camus or Zola if you don’t like. (I advise you still read these authors musts). You can just buy the books that are in the head of sales at this time, preferably well-known authors and recognized because they have a paw, a style that is tried and from which you can learn and why not inspire you.

 

But then the stage direction what is it ?

It is the element of your timeline that will allow readers, producer and director of understanding your vision, it is the action, or how the characters are dressed and the atmosphere of the scene.

Attention ! : The stage directions are like the dialogues, it is necessary to put only if this is necessary otherwise it is the fall-guaranteed !

 Example :

Sequence 1 : Ext – Street – Day

Mike, 45 years old, dressed in a tailored suit, and goes up the rue de Rivoli. His moccasins to the glans hit the pavement at each step. While he digs into the inner pocket of his jacket, his wallet falls on the ground at the foot of a homeless person.

SDF

You don’t have a lil ‘ room ?

The sdf is dressed in an old overcoat, a hat, wool screw-on head and a brown pants mended here and there by pieces of fabric patchwork.

Mike picks up his wallet, opens it and pulls out a ticket of 50 euros

Mike

It is your lucky day friend…it’s like.

The sdf takes the ticket, the feel, the look, the feel, to be sure that it is true.

SDF

If every time you drop yo’ larfeuille you spin 50 biftons…I’ll follow you to the track.

In this example the stage directions are long, heavy and do not serve neither the action nor the pace of the scene.

When you write stage directions you must go to the essential. At the bottom we care less how Mike is dressed, in any case in its entirety ! The fact that he wears shoes with tassels does not bring anything to the story. Ditto for the manner in which I expressed the intention of walking to Mike : it beats the pavement….

It must remain simple. This is what it would be better to read :

Sequence 1 : Ext – Rue de Rivoli – Day

Mike, 45 years up the street. It is pressed and jostled a few passers-by. While he digs into the inner pocket of his jacket made-to-measure, his wallet falls on the ground at the foot of a homeless person.

SDF

You don’t have a lil ‘ room ?

 

You feel the difference ? Yet almost nothing has been removed…apart from the unnecessary ;o)

 

For the rest it is the same thing !

Sequence 1 : Ext – Rue de Rivoli – Day

SDF

You don’t have a lil ‘ room ?

Mike picks up his wallet, opens it and pulls out a ticket of 50 euros

Mike

It’s your lucky day

The sdf takes the ticket and palpated to ensure that it is true.

SDF

If every time you drop yo’ larfeuille you spin 50 biftons…I’ll follow you to the track.

 

I simplified again the stage directions by removing the description of dress of the sdf. Because in the end we care less about how the sdf is dressed ! It is a tramp ! And while the world has its own representation of the SDF.

Here is a secret :

The stage directions should be written intelligently, that is to say that it is not necessary at any price to describe what you imagine on the screen. A scenario should be a joint between your universe of your story and the possibility that the reader (producer) to put something to him. In this way, he appropriates the story, which allows him to better identify or project themselves. Freedom illusory because in the end it is you who lead the dance by bringing it where you want it. The stage directions are there for that :o)

In one of my previous articles, I wrote this : “The didascalia allows to give indications of action, game or set the scene. It allows you to give information, in particular on the behaviour, mood or the dress code of a character “.

I think for the action, and the dress code, the example above has enlightened on this point :o)

 

What is the behavior and mood ?

I want to tell you : it is the same thing. But let’s take an example :

Sequence 1 : Int – restaurant – night

Mike and Dawn have their dinner in the candlelight.

Dawn

You’re going to explain to me why we are here or not ?

Mike

I look forward to my heart…

The look of Mike plunges in the deep neckline of Dawn

Aurora (fun)

Say so !

Taken on the fact, it distracts from the look

Mike

It will be necessary that you wait for the dessert

Mike is going on the tongue on the lips. He raises his hand to attract the attention of the server that passes all ready to go.

The server

Sir ?

 

In this sequence, we understand that Mike has something important to say to Dawn. The views of the vocabulary that Mike uses, one understands that the two characters are close. He is in love with her and wanted her. He has something important to tell him.

If one looks at the last stage directions :

 

Mike is going on the tongue on the lips. He raises his hand to attract the attention of the server that passes all ready to go.

 

One might wonder why Mike is going the tongue on the lips ….is he thirsty ? Is this a sign lewd to support the fact that he has to want to Dawn ? Where is it that he is stressed out ?

These are the questions we should not ask because you are supposed to tell the story and give us all the answers to understand the scene.

We are not in your head ! A gesture or a habit, for you, wants to say something, does not necessarily find an echo in your drive. If your character is going the tongue on the lips, which means to you that he is in love or stressed out, is not necessarily interpreted by your reader as such ! It should leave no doubt in the mind of the one who reads you.

 This is how it should be :

Sequence 1 : Int – restaurant – night

Mike and Dawn have their dinner in the candlelight.

Dawn

You’re going to explain to me why we are here or not ?

Mike

I look forward to my heart…

The look of Mike plunges in the deep neckline of Dawn

Aurora (fun)

Say so !

Mike looks away from you

Mike (embarrassed)

It will be necessary that you wait for the dessert

Mike unbuttoned his shirt collar and loosens his tie. He spent the tongue on the lips, grabs his glass of water and drink it in one sitting. He raises his hand to attract the attention of the server that passes all ready to go.

The server

Sir ?

 

You see ? Here one understands the significance of the passage of language on the lips….of course I have a little support ! Do more simple :

Mike (embarrassed)

It will be necessary that you wait for the dessert

Mike passes the tongue over his lips, grabs his glass of water and drink it in one sitting. He raises his hand to attract the attention of the server that passes all ready to go.

The server

Sir ?

 

Here we understand that Mike is stressed out, his mouth is pasty or dried out. The fact that he makes this gesture is understandable and brings tension to the scene.

I always try to be as clear as possible in my explanations but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave me a little message.

If you liked this article, the best way to tell me that it is to click the “Like” button at the top of the article. To return directly to the site map it’s here :o) you can also read : Presentation of a scenario 6 : When the characters speak in a foreign language.

Soon,

Tom W.

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