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Rules Shmules?

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

  1. Use "INT" and "EXT" at the beginning of all slug lines.

  2. Don't use times of day at the end of your slug lines.

  3. Don't use "Cut To:"

These are "rules" I give new screenwriters, and they are suggestions I follow myself. But you won't see all of these "rules" in every published screenplay you read. You may very well sell your script for tons of money using "Cut To" everywhere and writing "Tea Time" at the tag of your slug line. And some experienced screenwriters may scoff at any screenwriting "rule" ever being given, other than the obvious "Don't write your script on a cocktail napkin."

It's hard enough to sell a script, or get noticed by a potential representative when you're a no-name in the business. It is standard to use "Day" or "Night" at the end of your slug line. It's also standard to use "INT" and "EXT" at the beginning of your slug line. And it looks really weird to have "Cut To" between every single scene. Why stray from the standard just because you want to be contrary, and risk being labeled an amateur by someone who could otherwise have taken your script to the next level?

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