I Need My Book!

Working on a script. It is a script I have done many, many drafts of. Many.

JUST noticed that the character FRANK CASALONE is referred to sometimes as Frank, sometimes as Casalone, and WORSE, the name above the dialogue starts out as CASALONE and switches to FRANK.

How confusing is that? How stupid is that!?

My book tells you not to make that mistake, and here I went and made it. And didn’t notice it for draft after draft after draft. So, if I, the guy who wrote the book, made an idiotic mistake, writers who have not got the same eons of vast, stellar, character-building screenwriting experience I do, may make the same mistake too.

Pay attention to this stuff!

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “I Need My Book!

  1. is it really a mistake if a character is consistently named one way by one other, and consistent in another by the rest?

    For instance, I have a character called Calvin Booth, and everybody calls him Cal, except for his mother who calls him Calvin and a few others who call him Mr Booth, in the appropriate context.

    This doesn’t feel wrong

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      I think you’re correct to do it the way you have. It is logical, consistent, and makes sense for the story. Just make sure that when you get the character set up that you make it obvious to the reader who he is and what everyone calls him, then stick with it. Where I got in trouble was that I changed partway through. What you’re doing sounds right, and in character.

      • What about the case where the character is addressed by an honorific, eg. Mr President? It is ok to have every character call him Mr President, but in the script his dialog is denoted by OBAMA (after he’s introduced in the script as PRESIDENT OBAMA)?

      • yourscreenplaysucks

        I think that’s fine. As long as it’s clear… that would be very clear. What gets murky is when you introduce a guy named CHUCK DAVID and some people call him Chuck, some David, some Mr. David, and some “Floater,” because that’s what they called him in college.

  2. Scott Aiman

    Red and blue ink all over “Frank” and “Casalone”, wherever they appear! hehe

  3. Sophia

    With regards to naming your characters, is it okay that two characters start with the name letter, but do not rhyme, do not sound alike, and do not have anything in common apart from one letter?

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Sophia,
      My rule is never have a character name beginning with the same letter as any other name. Too confusing. You’ve got all those letters in the alphabet… use ’em. Jamie and Joe are too similar. It’s not worth the risk of confusing the reader, and the reader is confused enough. Unless there is a specific story reason for having Amy and Algernon in the same script, don’t do it.

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