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The Playwrights Forum > General > Question & Answer > Please pardon the totally basic questions

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Please pardon the totally basic questions  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Fri Jul 1st, 2016 05:45 pm
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Markg2
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Mana: 
1. Scene vs. Setting: After ACT 1 Scene 1 at the top of the page and before character dialogue, I insert text describing the setting. Even though I'm using the word setting, I cannot determine from my reading if what I'm describing is the scene or setting?

So whichever the preceding is, then what is and when used is the other?

2. My theater professor (2008) had a format method that I've yet to see elsewhere. Whenever you needed to describe a character 'doing something' you insert two tab stops from the left margin 'ACTION:' followed by the character's action description or scene information (e.g. raining, mountains in the distance, etc). For my current play I've deleted all instances of 'ACTION' and just have the action indented the 2 stops to the right and italicized. I downloaded a Word play template that has many appropriate styles already created/defined. There are only two styles that come close to my 'action': Scene Description and Stage Direction. Not only can I not figure out where/when each is appropriate, I don't know if either is appropriate for my 'actions'?

I think you get the drift of how far adrift I am ;-)!

Mark

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 Posted: Fri Jul 1st, 2016 09:11 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
Mark, I try not to be a rude man, nor a blunt man. But honest to daisy cups, you will do far better Goggling this information. Therefor, dear boy, I do not pardon your totally basic questions. We're just not all that basic around here. Why don't you show us what you got and fuck all your dumb questions. Welcome.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 13th, 2016 07:01 pm
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Markg2
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Mana: 
I've tried googling but I'm not getting it. Below, the 'non dialogue' directions are in ()'s w/?. In the text they are in italics and either indented to the far right of the page or 2 stops from the left depending whether it's a dialogue direction or stage direction.


ACE Spits (Dialogue Direction or Stage Direction?)

JACK’S cell phone rings, he fumbles through jacket (Dialogue Direction or Stage Direction?)

-------
ACE
The hell you expect? Life to clean itself up for the Prince?

Sound of a passing vehicle (Stage Direction or (mini) Scene Description?))

---------

Jack Pointing toward the road (Dialogue Direction?)

JACK
Fuckheads got nerve.

----------

JACK
You got Jack. Yeah, uh huh, uh huh…Yo! shit for brains, what’d I say before leaving Miami? The party starts at 9 pm sharp. What the fuck part got you confused?

Jack sticks his finger in Ace’s face motioning for a pen, jots something down, then shoves the pen and paper in his shirt (Dialogue Direction or Stage Direction?)

How's that for a small sample?

Mark

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 Posted: Wed Jul 13th, 2016 08:16 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
I would stick with this format; it is standard American format.

http://ptfaculty.gordonstate.edu/lking/CPF_play_formatting2.pdf

If you're in Britain, I would look at the following:

http://tug.ctan.org/macros/latex2e/contrib/sides/sides-sample.pdf

http://www.comedyplays.co.uk/cpv5/scripts/spf.pdf

NO MORE QUESTIONS IN THIS REGARD!! Try writing the dialog for the play you have in mind. Not crap like you left. Real intelligent dialog. That's where to start. I want to know exactly why you think you want to be a playwright? Money? There ain't none! Fame? Don't hold your breath! Lots sex from adoring fans. Don't I wish! To give an audience 90 minutes of thoughtful pleasure? That's what I do and that's all a playwright has the right to expect.

You may not like what I believe, many playwrights don't, but unless you are born to the manner, have a passion for it, or it's something you MUST do, something you might consider murdering your mother to pursue——you will never be a creative playwright. Stop playing dumb, I don't believe you are, but your silly questions are off-putting. You will NOT get much use from this site until you take this seriously. Most of us are hardworking writers who take our craft far more seriously than we do ourselves. You do the same and we can and will gladly help you. Otherwise, this might be the only response you will find here to guide and/or mentor you.

Write, write, write everyday! Honestly, I wish you only the best, but I do not believe you wish for yourself the same.

Edd

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