The Other Character


Outtakes 279

 

The Other Character

By Cait Collins

Narration is a major component of a story.  Through narration we learn where we are. We become aware of the specifics of the setting, the season, the weather, and our characters.  We meet our characters through narration.  The narration sets the scene and introduces action.

I thought writing a screenplay would free me from writing narration, but guess again. Although the screenplay is heavy on the dialogue, the scene must be set,  characters introduced, and the action started.

 

FADE IN

STRAITS OF FLORIDA – 1662  —  DAY

The Brisit man-o-war, the Glory, rides the swells of the outgoing tides as she sails into the Straits of Florida

JAMES MATTHEWS (V.O.)

We were two days out and tacking west

into the Straits of Florida when the

look out sighted a galleon of f the

port bow,closing fast.

The Spanish galleon, the Luca, sails within firing range.

JAMES MATTHEWS (V.O.)

El Diablo stood at the helm, cutlass

raised.  Captain Thomas ordered a volley

over the Luca’sbow.  El Diablo slashed’

the air with his sword and his cannons

fired.

A ball blasts through the Glory’srailing and breaks through the

deck.  Shouts of “Fire” echo across the Glory’s ranks.  A cannon

ball blows a hole in the Luca’s starboard bow.

(Excerpt from Legends, Lies, and Lizards A Screenplay based on the unpublished novel of the same name.)

 

 

 

The narration in the screenplay serves the same purpose as the narration in a short story or novel.

As a main character, the narration must have personality.  Its tone must reflect mood and pace of the scene.

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