What does your writing script look like? - How many lines for each chapter? How many blank lines do you have?

Moderators?

@Jeremy @Sydney_H

I’m not 100% if this is the correct place for this, I don’t think it falls under directing tips or anything, but it has to do with writers and their scripts, just the layout of it, >.> Let me know please, lol

So, after reading through a lot of threads and seeing what people say about how long a chapter with a certain amount of lines is, it doesn’t feel right to me. Some people say that 1000 lines is enough for a chapter, and…I can barely fit a whole scene in just 1000 lines.

However, I’ve also seen screenshots where the scripting has no spaces in between different aspects of the script.

So it’d be like:

@directing
@directing
character dialogue
@pause
character dialogue

I assume that the reason my chapters can be anywhere from 3k to 10k lines is not only because of choices but because I have a lot of blank lines to organize aspects of direction.

So mine looks like:

@direct
@direct

@speechbubble

@zoom
@pan

character dialogue

@speechbubble
@direct

character dialogue

I have a lot of empty spaces like that. Am I the only one that does that?

Maybe some of you do it but not nearly as much as I do. Where do you put blank spaces if you use them?
Why or why don’t you use blank spaces? What do you think your stories focus more on? Character dialogue or character acting or something else?

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I have 1 space inbetween changing of backgrounds (so I dont get confused)
My first episode is 1900 lines. 2-5 is 2000-3500 lines.
My script looks odd due to overlays and spot directing. If I didnt know what it was I’d probably never figure it out lol.

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So you only have a blank space in between scenes and then no blank spaces within each scene?

How long are your chapters approximately if they’re 1.9k - 3.5k lines do you think? (I ask it like that because I feel like as the writers, we read our own stories faster than someone else reading it)

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I usually do around 3000-4000 lines which takes approximately 25-30 minutes for me to read.
I use blank lines to separate speeches and scenes so for example.

NAME (talk_arms_crossed)
Dialogue.

NAME2 (talk_think)
Dialogue

Or I do

INT. BLACK - DAY
@zoom
@cut
@direct

INT. BLACK - NIGHT

2 Likes

No spaces in each scene.
I like it that way but that is my preference.
They are 10 -15 mins long. I guess it depends if you are a fast tapper but it does cause zooming and spot issues if you tap too fast.
I play each chapter after it is done in the mobile app to look for errors before publishing it.

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Yes, I am very similar to how you do it. Do you really think that 3k - 4k lines is about 25 - 30 minutes? I feel like I have horrible time management or I’m just missing something in general. Like, I’ve tried timing myself reading a chapter of mine that is 5k lines, it doesn’t seem to take me a while to read it. 5k lines I think could get up to 20 minutes, but my average is below 20 minutes.

@The_Saminator and @Sanityyy

Are your stories more dialogue driven or do you think you have a good balance between character acting and dialogue?

2 Likes

Oh and I also do it whenever I have like a giant directing part. Like overlays, or whenever I want someone to walk around.

@overlay create
@overlay shift
@overlay scales to
@overlay opacity
@pause for 1.0

NAME
Dialogue

And

@NAME walks to spot THEN NAME starts
@pause for 2.0
@NAME starts to think
@pause for 5.0
@NAME starts to talk_shrug
@pause for 3.0
@NAME walks to spot

NAME
Dialogue

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I have a good balance between acting and dialogue, because acting takes up a lot of time since readers can’t skip it, I like to add a lot of short/ really short pauses which may be annoying but it’s so they don’t rush through my chapters.

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I don’t use any spaces besides with choices but I have around 1000 lines at least

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I am not sure.
I always write as I go and I know where I want to end it. I have to find alternatives because I would write till 7k at times and feel it is too long. I would then make it shorter. I am so odd about it.
I have advanced zooming and spot directing with overlays. I feel it is a good mixed with the dialogue. When i read the story before publishing if i feel something is a miss, that is the time i would change it.

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I see. I separate directing between characters, too when I have a lot of characters in one scene. So it’d be like:

&spot
&character1 walks
&layer change

&spot
&character2 is direct
&layer change

and that goes on for however many characters I have. That’s usually beginning stuff, so I have another bout of the same stuff if multiple characters are walking after like a fade in direct.

I must be the only one that spaces EVERYTHING :joy::joy: that’s how Joseph Evans taught me. Mine are usually between 1000 - 3000

3 Likes

So, is it like:

&direct
&direct
character dialogue

choice
“choice1” {
&direct
character dialogue
}
“choice2” {
&direct
character dialogue
}

The one space before the word “choice” after the first dialogue?

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You space everything? So like…it’d look like this:

&pan

&zoom

character dialogue

&direct

&direct

Instead of something like:

&pan
&zoom

character dialogue

&direct
&direct

?

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Yep! I waste tons of space now that I think about it.

2 Likes

That is actually very helpful because I read TMBMD, and to know that it is 1k-3k, it takes me some time to read it. I knew what I was seeing was skewed because I always read my own work much faster than other things. I expect the words coming, so I don’t even always have to really read it, you know?

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Yeah I completely understand lol and at first I was like what’s that :joy: the abbreviation, it’s time for me to go to sleep.

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XD Yeah, definitely. Time for sleeps. Sleep tight, sweet dreams <3

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I almost wanted to share my whole script - but I didn’t want to crash anyone device.

ANYWHO

Example

XT. OUTSIDE05 - DAY with TABLE13 to .478 22 210 in zone 1 at layer 3 with TABLE1313 to 1.306 61 -215 in zone 1 at layer 13 with TABLE131313 to .766 432 17 in zone 1 at layer 6 with TABLE13131313 to .856 50 -40 in zone 3 at layer 9
music ext_weddingceremony_sunset
#&zoom reset
#&cut to zone #
&MITSUKI spot 0.624 73 389 in zone 1 AND MITSUKI faces left AND MITSUKI moves to layer 1 AND MITSUKI is talk_phone_angry_loop AND SYMPHONY spot 1.002 142 167 in zone 2 AND SYMPHONY faces right AND SYMPHONY is listen_nod_happy_loop AND SYMPHONY moves to layer 4 AND MIKA spot 1.029 240 152 in zone 2 AND MIKA faces left AND MIKA is laugh_giggle AND MIKA moves to layer 5 AND KAYLA spot 1.254 105 33 in zone 3 AND KAYLA faces right AND KAYLA is primp_neutral AND KAYLA moves to layer 7 AND VAL spot 1.245 203 36 in zone 3 AND VAL faces left AND VAL is talk_armscrossed_shrug_neutral AND VAL moves to layer 8
@transition fade in 1
@MCM spot 1.641 -83 -140 AND MCM moves to layer 11 AND VICTORIA spot 1.668 -116 -100 AND VICTORIA moves to layer 12 AND LUCIANA spot 1.667 -113 -184
@MCM walks to spot 1.641 159 -128 AND VICTORIA walks to spot 1.668 276 -131 THEN VICTORIA faces left

^ I don’t often use spot directing, but this is what my script usually starts with—

BACKGROUND
MUSIC / SOUNDS
(&)ZOOM
(&)CUT
(&) BACKGROUND CHARACTERS
TRANSITION
(@) MC & OTHERS ENTER
(&) FACING CHANGES

NARR
BlittyBladdyBlaBla

MCM
Oh, I completely agree

(&) EXIT
(@) TRANSITION

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Yeah

1 Like