Slugline in scriptwriting is a very important element that draws the reader’s attention. A scene is incomplete without a slugline, for every beginning of a scene, there must be a slugline that passes certain information to the reader about the actions that are about to take place in the scene. In this article, the definition of slugline and its functionalities in scriptwriting will be discussed.
WHAT IS A SLUGLINE?
Many writers have little or no knowledge of what slugline is, as a writer, It is important to know the definition of slugline. This will give you an idea of Slugline and its functionalities in scriptwriting.
Below are some definitions of slugline;
- A slugline is an independent line, written in uppercase that specifically brings the attention of the reader to a piece of information in the script.
- A slugline can also be said to be a text that is being abbreviated at the start of a scene that tells the location and time of the scene in the script.
In a script, sluglines are mostly used in two different methods:
Master Scene Heading
Master Scene heading is the Standard scene opening format in a scene in every standard script. The sluglines in this scene heading are used to communicate the location of the scene, where the scene will take place ( inside- INT of outside- EXT), and also the time, that tells when the scene will occur.
Read– How to Write a Scene Heading and Use it Creatively to know more on scene heading.
Subheading sluglines, In a script, subheadings are used or can be used during the scene, this is an important tool that draws the attention of the reader to a certain significant and important spot in the script.
SLUGLINE FUNCTIONALITIES IN SCRIPT
There are some significant ways sluglines can be used that make the script standard and professionals. Below are what slugline can be used for.
- Master Scene Heading
- Sub-scene Heading
- Action Sequence
- Mid-scene location changes
MASTER SCENE HEADING
As Explain in the previous article, I wrote about the Scene heading, The Master scene heading is one of the most important sluglines in script format. Without the Master scene heading a scene can not commence because it takes the responsibility of informing or giving out the details of the scene i.e the Location, time, and so on to the reader. For a clear understanding of the Master scene heading and its format, read my previous post –
To draw the attention of the reader to a different but important element in a scene or a script as a whole, a subheading slugline needs to be used. It is one important slugline that adds value to the script standard. Below are some usual ways in which sluglines are being used in a script.
There are numerous ways in which we can use sluglines, one of them is in the action sequence. There are many strategies or ways of writing an amazing action scene, but sluglines are one of the most reliable and effective techniques of creating and keeping the pace that action scenes rely on.
MID-SCENE LOCATION CHANGES
After Writing the Master Scene heading which comes at the beginning of a script, Scripters tend to always make use of the subheader sluglines to catch the attention of the reader to a specific element or a vital detail. Subheader slugline can be used to change location, within a scene, for example, significant shots or character’s names during action description and sequence.
Location changes are commonly used among writers in a scene when a character moves from one specific location to another i.e from one room to another within a house.