Parantheticals are used when
- it is not obvious how a piece of dialogue is supposed to be said and you feel the actor would need to be directed, e.g. (sarcastically), (jokingly)
- it is an action that happens during the dialogue.
Parentheticals are also known as wrylies due to their excessive use as follows:
JIM I didn't do it - (wryly) or did I?
|Some directors and actors perceive this as micromanagement by the writer, crushing their creative input into the film making process.|
To insert a parenthetical at the start of a block of dialogue, press Tab when you are about to edit the dialog, or just type ( - open parenthesis. Pressing Enter or close parenthesis once you're finished with the parenthetical puts you in Dialog:
OBI WAN (standing) Well, let's see what we can do with you.
To insert a parenthetical within a block of dialogue, e.g. the pauses in a phone conversation, create three Dialog blocks, then press Tab (or select from the toolbar, or press ctrl-5) on the one you want transformed into a parenthetical.
COMEDIAN Take my wife. Please. taps microphone Is this thing on?
|Pressing tab on the middle dialog block produces||
COMEDIAN Take my wife. Please. (taps microphone) Is this thing on?
Be wary of creating parentheticals that are too long; consider replacing them with Action instead. A rough guide is if a parenthetical covers two lines, it might be better as an action item.