What the hell does "economy in writing" MEAN?
I know what it looks like.
But no one can tell me how to do it...
...except to read many, many scripts.
I've figured out one thing:
ECONOMY = Every single scene is stuffed to the gills
+ Easy to read.
For example, a scene from today's script:
"INT. BRUGES POLICE STATION - NIGHT
CHLOE waiting, DESK CONSTABLE doodling. She stands, excited as RAY is released.
RAY: I'll get the money back to you as soon as I get through to my friend...
CHLOE: It's not a problem, Raymond.
RAY: And I'll get all your acid and ecstasy back to you too...
The DESK CONSTABLE looks up.
CHLOE (in Flemish, subtitled): English humour!
She quickly leads him out."
This is a very short scene, but it's chock full of progress:
- Ray finally makes a promise about the future ("I'll get the money back to you...")
- His character remains consistent (he still shows poor judgment by taking the acid).
- If you read between the lines, he has bonded with Chloe.
- She's willing to cover for him. They're a team now.
- Something good has happened to Ray. There's hope.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Economy is packing scenes full AND they are easy to read.
The reader gets the literal meaning, as well as the inferred meaning (also know as "allowing the audience to put 2+2 together.")
In Bruges (2008)
by Martin McDonagh