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What if names change?

Posted: Jul 04, 2016 8:33 pm
by habromania
I'm trying to write my first screenplay but I'm stuck trying to figure out how to format a certain part of it.

The part I need help with:

(quietly to her children)
If you keep behaving like this, I'm
not going to buy ice cream later.

Child #1 takes a break from stomping to look up at his
mother crossly. Child #2 cries out and struggles to remove
child #3 from her back. Child #3 laughs and keeps yanking at
Child #2's hair, ignoring his mother's declaration. The
mother looks around in such a way that you would when you're
trying to make sure no one is around to see an embarassing
thing happening to you. She notices Orden watching the
situation occur.

Cyon, get off of Lemon's back!
You're too old to be acting like

I'm not sure if this is how one would switch between characters not having names to them then having names moments later. I feel like it would be confusing to put in the real names along with the brief descriptions of the characters (because aren't you supposed to give little descriptions of each character when they are introduced for the first time?) all in that one action section (so I didn't do that. I'm also not sure if that is something that you can or should do). If I am doing this wrong, what can I do to fix it? I can't seem to find anything on Google. Maybe I'm just not phrasing my problem properly.

(I put the names in different colors so that one could know whom is whom. They are not actually like that in the screenplay itself.)

Re: What if names change?

Posted: Jul 07, 2016 1:53 pm
by Chris Huntley
The point of scene description (action) is to describe to the READER what is going on. Unless there is a story reason not to reveal the children's names, I recommend using them. You can do so without making too much of it, but there should be something that distinguishes them from one another. For example, your description could be written:

BUSTER, 6, takes a break from stomping to look up at his
mother crossly. LEMON, 7, cries out and struggles to remove
CYON, 5, from her back. Cyon laughs and keeps yanking at
Lemon's hair, ignoring his mothers declaration...

And so on. By adding the age, you establish that they are children. By giving the children names, the description is easier to follow for the audience than using the generic Child #1, Child #2, and Child #3 monikers.