Of course even this is wrong as the example is terrible in its punctuation. It misses some "periods."
But the general layout will work.
So many of the sites I looked at overly explain things to the point of insanity. Lord almighty…they have diagrams and boxes with inane notes and explanations.
P.S. The reason they want some sort of standard format is because they have to read so many plays. It can drive one nutty when you have to read a lot of plays and their formatting is all over the place. So there is method to the madness. If your formatting is atrocious, believe me you will not be doing yourself any favors.
As the reader of very many plays...I'm going to post not - what to do - because it's all over the map, but -what makes it really hard to read.
Even in a short play, I like when the characters name's are centered, instead of coming before the dialogue like this...
Paddy: It's just a bit harder to read.
The stage directions should be obviously different from the dialogue - best for me - indent is beyond center page - italicized. The always have the left margin wider than the right, as some will print them out and make notes in the space at the left. Personally, I don't. Font - For me, I find courier annoying, and hard to read. Times Roman or Cambria 12 pt. Arial is good too, but know that it's larger, if you're counting pages. Try not to split dialogue onto the next page, and if you do - PADDY cont. not CON'T.
So often 'correct formatting' is about reading less. It's an easy way to pitch a play into a slush pile. I think it gets a bit silly when you are measuring tabs, etc.
So from someone who reads a lot of plays - those are the things that work for me. I've never not read a script because I didn't like it's formatting, but I'm sure ready a play easily, is a better start.
i agree this is confusing. i posted a play i wrote, one person got back to me, saying it was the wrong format. i wrote on final draft and it looked right by me, from what i have found on the internet. now, Paddy you introduce me to a new font. wondering if i should just have the play in three different fonts for who whats what?
I have read hundreds of submissions, and never NOT read a play because it wasn't formatted to my liking. Thing is...there isn't a standard. Some think it's Samuel French format...but that's for publishing.
Don't sweat the small stuff. The reason the play wasn't read most likely has more to do with people not knowing you well enough (cyberly) to invest in the time it takes to read and comment on a jplay.
I use the French publishing format. It's easier to write and to read. I have never had a problem with that, even though it is considered by some to be in the wrong format. Honestly, all I would worry about is building a great play. Listen to Paddy. She's a writer and producer and knows a hell of a lot better about things than most of us—including myself.