I’m curious about your format for writing a one-sided phone conversation.
I’ve seen it done in so many different ways now, that I have no idea if there is a more uniform way of doing it, or a preferred way.
I know it’s your birthday…I can’t make it…Look, that’s not my problem.
I know it’s your birthday…
I can’t make it.
Look, that’s not my problem.
Then, I’ve seen some similar to above, but filled with (beat) instead.
Is there one correct way to do it?
New York City
There’s no one “right” way, but I tend to choose the first option, since space is always at a premium. The only time to break out the parentheticals is if something really is changing on Kevin’s side of the conversation: the tone, the intent or the direction of the conversation.
You’ll also need a parenthetical (or a separate action line) if Kevin is speaking to someone on-screen and on the phone at the same time.
For instance, here’s an exchange from Go:
It’s called Mary Xmas. Mary like a chick…Like her name is Mary, not like you marry her. You fucking moron…I dunno, some warehouse shit.
Is this gonna be cool?
Yeah, I guess.
My friend Claire here says it’s going to be a kick-ass-fucking-time…What, you know her?
It’s your buddy Simon. He’s in Vegas.
She knows…Hell, I dunno…
(looks at Claire)
Maybe…Yeah, well save a load for me big boy…Whatever.