You are here:

Writing Plays/Screenwriting/Are one line direction scripts wrong?


I've noticed some of my screenplays are exclusively made of one line directions. There is one action line, then white space, then another action line and so on...Is this formatting ok to use, or should I change this, even if this means losing many pages in the process? Thank you for taking the time to read and help me with this!


Yes, one line action is okay as long as the action is the staccato style of motion you are trying to get out of the scene.

Normally, action is grouped by purpose.  That is, you are trying to get the actor to do a series of steps or trying to have the camera focus stay on a particular object or person.

If you use one line action, you are rapidly shifting attention within the scene from actor to thing, actor to actor, of thing to thing for a dramatic purpose.

Otherwise, the use of the one line action can be confusing or even trite.

Writing Plays/Screenwriting

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


John M. Lovett


I answer questions regarding film production and screenwriting. I will answer questions dealing with screenwriting style, ideas, film production, format, and agents.


Sixteen years working in the motion picture and television industries as a screenwriter, producer, and military technical advisor. Have two produced movies TWO WEEKS and CATHY MORGAN. Worked with Digital Ranch Productions, Warriors Inc, and Nichols Productions.

CSUF, BA, 1980 UCLA, Certificate in Screenwriting, 2009

Past/Present Clients
Warriors, Inc.
Dreamworks Interactive
Legacy Interactive
Silvertouch Pictures
Synergy Group
Nichols Productions

©2017 All rights reserved.