Character CONT’Ds in Slugline

John August recently wrote about the use of (CONT'D) after a Character element, when that character speaks successively within a scene.

In some cases, you’ll absolutely want to use (cont’d) to indicate a character is still speaking. It’s a signal to the reader (and the actor) that the character is continuing the same thought, regardless of the intervening action.

In other cases, it’s much less clear whether dialogue continuity makes sense. If a bunch of action has occurred between the last time the character spoke, is it really correct or helpful to have that (cont’d)?

John prefers adding the (CONT'D) manually, and only for those occasions where a character is continuing a thought. Slugline supports this style with ease — if turn off Character CONT'Ds in the Document Settings menu, you can then add them manually as needed.


But some writers think of Character CONT'Ds as a purely automatic function (probably in no small part due to the default settings of some popular screenwriting apps), and Slugline supports that as well. If you leave Character CONT'Ds on, Slugline will automatically add (CONT'D) after successive dialogue by the same character within a scene.

The (CONT'D) appears in light gray to let you know it’s there, but not editable. It is not baked into the text of the file. This is a document setting, so you choose to have Character CONT’Ds on or off on a per-screenplay basis.

Note that this setting does not affect the industry-standard (MORE) and (CONT'D) that Slugline always adds when pagination causes Dialogue to split across a page break.

So it's your choice — let Character CONT'Ds be automated, or a manual, more intentional part of your writing. Slugline will always strive to make your writing process easier, whichever you choose.

Stu MaschwitzHow to