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I make sure I don't have one speaker's continuous dialogue overlap from the bottom of one page to the top of the next, such that a (MORE) and (CONT'D) would be necessary. But man, it'd sure help my page count if I occasionally did otherwise. Is it that big a deal? In general, should we expect most contests to ding us for that? Or am I needlessly adhering to what might be a rule I'd read somewhere that is just one guy's pet peeve? I'm not even sure where I read or heard it. . ..
Mike, scripttoolbox.com is a great place to use as a reference. It has it all. And nicely organized.
But if using MORE and CONT'D will reduce your page count signifcantly, then you must have a lot of them. It's alright to have a few long speeches in a script, but if there are too many, it gets tiresome.
When that happens to me, I try to look for ways to convey the same information in smaller bites. That makes the story move faster and results in a more pleasurable read.
Sometimes you can get 2 or 3 people present the same information giving it more intensity.
Of course, every story is different. But that's my technique.
You shouldn't be purposely rewriting dialogue for the sole purpose of avoiding MOREs and (CONT'D)s. After all, that is the one situation where (CONT'D)s are still expected.
But I gotta agree with Blacka: if MOREs are adding significantly to your page count, then it sounds like your script may be a bit Dialogue heavy and your Dialogue blocks a bit lengthy, which means your Dialogue needs rewriting for other reasons.
Often the answer to needing to add or subtract pages is going back to your outline and reworking the story a little. It is possible your pacing is off.
Thanks, all. I appreciate your admonitions against blocky dialogue, but that's not generally my challenge here. Many times, in fact, notes say if anything my dialogue is too spare. But there are a few occasions where speakers exceed five lines -- and as I revise the script, CONT'D and MORE will suddenly pop up (though I'd thought I'd disabled that function), enabling me to save my page count at 110. So that's cool if CONT'D and MORE is cool. But if I remove those markers, keeping all the character's lines on one page, then it throws off the downstream stuff, and my script's at 111 1/2 pages. I'd like to be able to use them but am fairly certain that'd be taboo.
You're thinking too much. I use MovieMagic Screenwriter and let the software do that for me.
If you're on a Mac, I think Final Draft does the same thing.
When I took the UCLA screenwriting workshop, we got a deep discount on Screenwriter.
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