Q. I've read scripts where the writer will break up a line for and capitalize a sound, such as
Also seen a few that break up the line for a verb:
Okay, white space is good. But this is overdoing it.
My rule is: one line is one shot
, or sometimes, one action
:Jimmy races over to the third ladder just as-
-a KNIGHT comes over the top, clambers up on the parapet-
Jimmy races up to shield-bash him as-
-the Knight slashes down at him. Jimmy blocks - CLANG! - but in moments he's fighting for his life against a blizzard of sword blows. Jimmy's good, but the knight is a pro.
Caz runs up just as -
-the Knight gets his sword point under Jimmy's breastplate and THRUSTS.
Jimmy staggers, in shock and pain.
Each line is a new "virtual camera angle." When I write Jimmy races
I'm hoping you'll see him coming head on as he runs up. A KNIGHT comes over the top
is the reverse angle. And so on.
I do capitalize sound effects, special effects, and any action I want to be sure the reader doesn't miss. Don't overdo it, though. If everything's in caps, they lose their emphasis and you're just shouting.
Labels: craft, format