Character Name in Script Writing

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Character Name-Definition

Couldn't be more obvious, the Character Name element is where you indicate who's talking.

Description


Not much to say, except that you want to be consistent. Don't call a character MR. JONES in one part of the script and DAVE somewhere else (with Scriptware, it's easy to check to see if you've done this; you just look at the Character List and see who's on it... then you can change the wrong ones with just a keystroke or two).
If you have two characters speaking simultaneously and saying the same thing, you can make a character name out of both of their names. For example:
BOB AND RHONDA
Wait! Stop!

If you had two characters saying different things at the same time, use Dual-Column Dialogue.

Try to avoid using Names that look similar to avoid confusing the reader. Some suggest that you don't have two characters who have names that start with the same letter for this same reason.

To introduce a Character in a mysterious way, by hearing her/his voice, without revealing who it is, call the character something like MAN'S VOICE or WOMAN'S VOICE. Since we're hearing but not seeing them, it would typically be: MAN'S VOICE (V.O) or WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.). (You wouldn't underline the extension, that's happening because those are links). Then, in the Action, you can reveal to the reader that:
...we see that the voice belongs to:
MARTHA
Hello, dear.

Formatting

A Character Name is uppercase, 3.5" from the left edge of the page. There is one blank line before a Character Name.

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