Script Writing Terms

Created by peoplearerad 

Upgrade to
remove ads

63 terms · I know this is no time to start some sort of blazing romance But You were just so damn slow......

Exposition

Revelation of information that the audience needs to know in order to understand the play. Exposition may happen either through scenery, sound effects, action, or dialogue

Foreshadowing

A hint of whats to come

Forwards

Events or lines that make the audience want to find out what is going to happen next

Predictability

Even though it is important to plant seeds, avoid making your outcomes predicable

Plot twists

Keeps the audience interested, don't let them surpass the importance of other elements of the play, they should be plausible

Dramatic Irony

Situation in which a character makes a remark that the audience is intend to understand as ironic, or in contradiction to the full truth

Theatricality

Any event or series of events that heightens the audience attention

Foregrounding

Calling attention to something by placing it in the foreground against a background

Byplay

Action that takes place off to the side or in the background while the main action continues; byplay captures the audience's attention and adds humor without being overly distracting

Verisimilitude

The play must communicate the truth about life and the human condition.

Lifting

The play tends to cut out all the downtime, randomness, unrelated details, and unimportant monotonies of real life

Stakes

The characters have to have something important hanging in the balance

The passover question

A Play must show us the most critical moments in the main character's life

Personal Demon

Something that we struggle with for our whole lives

Hamartia

Tragic Flaw

Scene of Recognition (Anagnorsis)

A Moment when a main character had a realization or makes a significant discover regarding the conflict, a truth about the past, the truth about herself, or the irony and/or severity of the present situation. Also Known as Anagnorsis, or epiphany

Ur-Play

A story that is alive in your subconscious and that needs to come out and be told

Stasis

The world of the play is introduced. We learn about the setting, the characters, and the basic situation of the play

Intrusion

The event the sets the conflict into motion. At this moment wit becomes clear who the main character is and what he/she needs to do

Launch

This usually makes up most of the play. The main character attempts to achieve his/her dramatic need

Climax

The ultimate fray between opposing forces in the play

Denouement

It shows how the world of the play had or has not changed due to the resolution of the conflict

Three Act Structure

Act 1: Introduce the problem, Act 2: Develop the problem, Act 3: Resolve the problem

In Medias Res

When a play will begin with the intrusion or in the midst of the launch

Deux Ex Machina

A plot in which all of a sudden something comes out of nowhere at the end and makes everything all right

Traditional Comedy

The protagonist succeeds

Traditional Tragedy

The protagonist fails

Tragicomedy

The protagonist succeeds or fails but the result is not exactly what the protagonist though it would be. Or perhaps, the protagonist gets what he wants, but also get another thing that he wasn't expecting or hoping for

Subplots

Sometimes relate to the main plot merely through a similarity in theme. Sometimes they feed into the main plot, affecting its outcome.

Conflict

Dramatic need+Obstacle=Conflict

Physiological Needs

Those things without which we cannot live: food, water, air, shelter clothing. Survival

Safety Needs

Security, stability, order, protection, and freedom from fear or danger

Social needs

Love, acceptance, belongingness

Ego needs

Esteem, reputation, self-respect, status, metaphysical worthiness

Self-Actualization Needs

Creativity, self-expression, personal fulfillment

Event

Anything that occurs

Trigger

An Event that causes or permits another vent to happen

Heap

An Event that is caused or permitted by a trigger

Monologue

When one character speaks for an extended time

Contained Monologue

When one character speaks for an extended period of time, to the other character within a scene

Direct Address

A character talks directly to the audience

Aside

Short speech to the audience with out the other characters hearing

Monodrama

A play consisting of one long monologue; a one-person show

Soliloquoy

A character speaks his/her internal thoughts, while alone on stage

Dialogue

Lines exchanged between two or more characters

Stichomythia

Short choppy dialogue

Chunky Dialogue

Dialogue that is monologue heavy (lots of longer speeches being exchanged between 2 or more characters).

Unified Time

Aristotle spoke of the notion of The Three Unities (Place, Time, and Action). This meant that the entire play was to occur in one location with one continuous flow of action and time.

Episodic Time

A play that takes place in several short episodes (scenes or acts) over the course of a relatively short period of time (i.e., a weekend, a month, a season, a few years, etc.) Scene locations may vary or stay the same.

Epic Time

A play that takes place in several short episodes (scenes or acts) over the course of a long period of time (i.e., a lifetime, the duration of a war, an era of some sort, etc.) Scene locations may vary or stay the same.

Non-Sequential Time

When the scenes of a play do not progress in chronological order

Multi-Temporal Sequential

Multiple stories happening in different time periods are woven together to create one play.

Flashbacks

Scenes that occur in the past--outside of the time sequence established by the rest of the script. Rather than simply having a character tell the story of what happened long ago, the playwright can simply write that scene and include it in the play. Rather than simply having a character tell the story of what happened long ago, the playwright can simply write that scene and include it in the play.

Flash-Forwards

A vast jump forwards in time.

Periscope Ending

when the final scene occurs a long time after the climax. In this final scene, the effects of the climax are revealed through exposition.

Framing Device

A device in which a setting and a few characters are established. Then, one of the characters will begin telling a story which makes up the bulk of the play. At the end we return to the original characters, realizing how the story has affected them.

Scenes Outside Of Time

The dramatization of fantasies, dream sequences, hallucinations, etc.

Ebb and Flow

A play's focus and retreat from the its central conflict. Longer plays retreat from the main conflict in order to provide backstory, create atmosphere, explore character dynamics, and provide comic relief.

Economy

The notion of only including characters, actions, speech, and settings that are absolutely essential contributions to the plot and theme(s).

Catharsis

the feeling of release after the dramatic tension of watching a tragedy

Tactic

the strategy a character uses in order to get what he or she wants; how the character attempts to remove the obstacle to his or her need.

Subtext

what is really meant by what is said

Beat

the use of one tactic in the context of a play/scene/act; most scenes have multiple beats

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again

Example:

Reload the page to try again!

Reload

Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

NEW! Voice Recording

Click the mic to start.

Create Set