Important Script Languages and Abbreviations Writers Should Know

Important Script Languages and Abbreviations Writers Should Know

Lots of writers (both amateur and Veteran ) sometimes finds it difficult to write as a result of them forgetting scripts languages and the necessary abbreviations. This is why in this article, I will discuss with you the script languages and necessary abbreviations.

What is Script Language and Abbreviation?

This is simply the language used in building up the scene and movie script as a whole. It is the language used to make up a script. Without these languages, there can not be a movie script because they are selected characters that are meant to convey information to the reader.

 For writers to enjoy writing, Script languages must be properly used to avoid script errors during the course of writing.

The Following are some of the script languages and Abbreviations we have in a movie script.

ACTION: This tells the reader the actions that are happening in the script. It simply talks about anything that happened out of the dialogue. Action in script is carried out by characters who in one way or the other pass information through the actions. For example, If two character is walking by the roadside and also having a conversation, the action will be, Angrily, Character A throws a stone to the tree to the bush.

CHARACTER: This is the action taker in the script. They are the very tool that information is used to pass across to the audience or reader.  Characters fall under two types; The Major and the Minor Character. When introducing the major character for the first time, all names must be written in ALL CAPS while the minor character doesn’t need a major introduction.

BEAT: This is a structural element that is meant to mark a pause or make a break in the line of conversation of a character over the phone. “BEAT” can be as a parenthetical or in the dialogue to mark a pause between one character and the other over the phone.

CONTINUOUS: This is a scripting language that is used when the activities and actions of one scene location are moves to another location within the period of the day. For example, Moving from Internal Location to External Location within the period of the day. Continuous is added at the heading of the scene which shows the continuation of the story.

DIALOGUE: This is an important element in scriptwriting. It is simply the conversation between one character and the other. It is the tool that is used to pass information from the character to the audience.

FLASHBACK: Flashback is a structural element used in a past event in reference to the current scene in the script. Flashback shows the past occurrence that is used to show clarity to the present scene. To begin multiple scenes of flashback,  BEGIN FLASHBACK  must be added, to end it “END FLASHBACK” must be added.

PARENTHETICAL: This is used for a quick action carried out by the character to communicate the emotions in the dialogue. It shows the emotions of the character. Parenthetical is between the dialogue and the character with (…). For example (drops the cup)

DASH: This is a simple tool that is used to indicate the character is being interrupted even before they finished talking. In a creative way, Dash can be used to also generate flow.

ELLIPSIS: These are three dots that function as a tool to communicate a thought. The three dots implies that there should be a pause before the upcoming dialogue or action.

SLUGLINE: This is a part of the script that gives information about the location, settings, and time of the scene in the scene. They are the master heading and also the sub-heading.

FADE IN/FADE OUT: These are transition that is used in the beginning and the end of a script. It simply notifies the beginning and the end of a play.

DISSOLVE: A dissolve is a transition element indefectibly dissolves a scene to another. It is occasionally used in a script.

Some Abbreviations in Script

EXT.- In Scriptwriting, the Abbreviation EXT means “EXTERIOR”  This abbreviation is used in the slugline if the scene is outside. Exterior means outside. Using this abbreviation means the actions and the dialogue in the scene will be shot outside.

INT.- This abbreviation stands for “INTERIOR” this is used when a scene is taking place inside. It is important to always use either EXT. or INT. in the slugline as it gives more information about the scene.

(O.S)- This is means OffScreen. It is a structural element that is used when a character is offscreen when talking. For example, If a character is currently having a conversation, and he or she is not in front of the camera, (O.S) must be in front of the character’s name.

(O.V)- It means VoiceOver. It is also a structural element that is used when any character narrates an action or happenings. It can also be used in a phone call, the conversation of another character over the phone which is not shown or present. It is added after the character’s name. For example FEMI (O.V)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *