First there was Myspace. The site that put social networking on the map.
With its top 8 list, colorful backgrounds, music and video players, a myspace page could get very busy.
And then Facebook came along and stripped away all the flash. No more top 8's and no more music. Just a white back ground and some info.
And yet, it was still too much for some people. It could still get simpler.
On Twitter, you can barely do anything. Just update your followers in 140 words or less and that's about it.
In many ways, a perfect concept.
So what does social networking have to do with screenwriting?
Well, I’ve been thinking more about pacing in the last couple of weeks.
What’s the best way to keep the pacing up?
The simple answer: white space.
And there’s a tool out there that can make sure your page is as white as possible.
Write every description and every block of dialogue like a tweet. 140 characters and that's it.
There will be so much white on the page that it'll be a joy to read.
Now of course you don’t want to write exactly like a tweet. Your characters can’t be named @Bob and @Jane.
And your screenplay can’t be called #Awesome Screenplay.
The usual tricks you would use to shorten a tweet can’t be used either.
Numbers have to be spelled out, you have to use the best grammar you can and if you have some one laugh you can’t put “lol”.
All you have to do is make sure most of the script is in 140 character chunks.
If you can do it in a tweet, you can do it in a script.
And if you don't have a Twitter account, get one. It's good practice.
The days of writing whatever you want are over.
You have to trim everything down to the bare bones and still tell an engrossing story if you want the reader to pay attention.
Long blocks of dialogue can scare the reader/executive. They scream, "Guess who's not going to lunch on time?”
But if you use Twitter pacing, they'll have time to spare.
And trust me, you can gain major points for getting an executive to lunch on time.
So here’s the challenge.
And it’s a big one.
Take every chunk of dialogue and description in your screenplay and cut and past them into a twitter box.
If it doesn’t fit, start trimming.
And just to prove that it can be done, every paragraph in this blog can fit in a twitter box.
That was a fast read huh?