Monday, January 26, 2009

When is less not enough?

Okay, we all know less is more when describing scenes, but I fear I may be obsessing a little about it.

Case in point is the following:

Jason stands in an immaculate hotel room, lit only by the sunlight shining through a narrow gap in the curtains.

Is that fine? I could thin it down further:

Jason stands in an immaculate hotel room.

Sunlight shines through a narrow gap in the curtains.

But is this too far? The fact that sunlight is the only light source in the room isn't important, so I leave it out and break the line. I just feel that what is left is a little clinical, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Any tips?

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

2 comment(s):

ditty said...

The two ways you have it written here evoke different moods for me. The first has a softer feel to me, whereas the second is almost a bit spooky.

Either of those could be totally off depending on the rest of the context, of course. But I'd worry more about using the right tone in your action lines as opposed to trying to cut it down as much as possible if that makes sense. Hope that helps a little. Good luck!

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter) said...

You are right of course, context is everything.

I think I need to perform a little exercise that I often do when I worry about this stuff:

Slap myself around the head and tell myself to just write it. I'll worry about this when I have a compete screenplay in one had, and a red pen in the other.