As some of you know I also read scripts, as well as writing them, and can I give some advice? Please stop with the narration and or voice over.
First of all, it’s insulting because it feels like the writer is too lazy to show us how the character feels through his/her actions and dialogue. Secondly, it’s just annoying for the most part and takes away from the story.
Yes there are exceptions:
In television: How I Met Your Mother does a great job.
Grey’s Anatomy is getting a bit annoying, but used to be great with Meredith opening and closing.
That said, if I NEVER see or hear it again in television it will be too soon. I think that is one of the reasons, so many of the new shows are like nails on a chalk board to me.
Whatever happened to showing us who your characters are? Since when is it all of a sudden best to tell us how we are supposed to feel?
In films, I feel the same way. Usually I wil turn off a film with this. I wrote a film a few years ago and had it as well as a couple flashbacks. When a major Hollywood production company was so kind to give me notes, this was the biggest thing they wanted out. Since then I have read countless blogs and heard countless lectures on how much this is disliked by the industry as a whole.
As a reader I can tell you, with a long opening monologue, I find it hard to read on. If I have 5 minutes of the main character telling me how bad his life is and why I should care about it, I am already bored.
Yes there are exceptions, but unless you are hired by a studio to write your narration-please don’t, it will greatly increase your chances of being read and sold if you don’t make this rookie mistake. If you feel you MUST have it in there. How about this, write the script without it, then when you sell it, then suggest you add it back in, but to be honest, you’ll probably realize that you didn’t need it in the first place.
Remember, novels are telling the reader. Screenplays are showing the audience.