I know it’s a big no-no to include drawings or images in your screenplay, but is it ever okay in certain circumstances?
For example: I’m writing a script where the town that the story is set in is integral to the plot. A fight breaks out there in key sections of the town’s layout and it is all very well co-ordinated.
In this case, is it possible to include a small map of the town’s layout?
I’ve tried describing the town and its layout in detail, but it ends up at over 3 pages…and that’s condensed. Surely a small map could help the reader better understand the details of the action scenes?
I recently read the first few books of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, and sighed with nostalgic longing at the map on page two which shows the layout of the little town. The author/illustrators had gotten it just right. I immediately flashed-back to my sunbeam days of youth, as an eager young reader flipping to the map to figure out what route Bobby would take to get to the Old Mill.
Cut to the present. I’m going to stick to my guns and say it’s never okay to include drawings with a screenplay. For as often as screenwriting is compared to architecture, there’s one crucial difference: it’s not really architecture. With clever descriptions, the screenwriter gets to evoke the feeling of a small town, with its lazy cobblestone streets and general store on the corner. But you’re not allowed to literally draw the map.
I know that for something like a fight sequence, a schematic might make life a lot easier, but words are all you get. Focus on the emotion and story moments of the fight, not the logistics, and everyone will be better served.