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I met a screenplay teacher who insisted "-ing" words (I'm ... Should I be worried about this? Thanks. W : )

A guy asked me that just last week. He gave examples too: "John sleeps on the sofa. Greta enters and ... is where John sleeps every night? An example from REPO MAN (no lover of slow or unnecessary words): EXT.

This guy also had a thing against adverbs in scripts. Sometimes, to nail a nuance just right, I have to use them. For example, from my Ruins in the Distance:
"Chytonne reaches out to Neal. Neal reaches out for Chytonne, but their fingertips barely touch. They black out."

They are strapped in with harnesses in a
horizonal position not too far apart but
far enough so they can't hold hands.
They strain to grab hands, but the space
between them is too great. Their fingertips
only brush each other. The "barely" stresses
their futile effort to get their hands together.
W : )
I met a screenplay teacher who insisted "-ing" words (I'm referring to verbals), should not be in a screenplay. Only ... is a style thing on my part, but I like the pp tense. Should I be worried about this? Thanks.

Neal's observations about grammar are valid, of course, but the point of writing in format is never that a particular format is somehow empirically 'correct,' it's just the way it's done. Doing it another way just demonstrates that you're either unwilling or unable to do it the way it's usually done, or that you're so green that you don't know HOW it's usually done.
One thing that the format of 'no -ing words' does, as Paul points out, is force you to make more interesting choices. 'Bob moves to the door' vs. 'Bob is moving to the door?' They're both boring. Bob should creep toward the door, or suanter, or leap or explode or inch or fox-trot or SOMETHING more interesting that simply 'move.'

Life Continues, Despite
Evidence to the Contrary
Steven
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
The difference between "John dies" and "John is dying" is not a stylistic one. They are saying two fundamentally different things.

Finally. Thank you.
The difference between "John dies" and "John is dying" is not a stylistic one. They are saying two fundamentally different things.

In total agreement with your entire post.
I have fought the "sits"/"is sitting"battle on more than one occasion.

The idea that "john is sitting" is wrong in some way is something I suspect is taught in English class in the US.

"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it."
- Clint Eastwood
Seems to me that it's hard to avoid at least one -ing word at the start of a scene.

Why should you even want to avoid it?
You are describing what is visible on the screen.

"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it."
- Clint Eastwood
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
This guy also had a thing against adverbs in scripts.

That's *** too. The verb describes the action. The adverb describes how it happens.
He touches her hand.
He cautiously touches her hand.
He confidently... etc. etc.

"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it."
- Clint Eastwood
The consensus seems to be that I should have reduced the action to simpler statements in order to drive the action.

Your writing is fine. But stylistically it was more suitable for a novel.
What do we film and how do we film it?
To answer that you need clarity above all, and any stylistic flourishes should be used sparingly.
However I do believe there should be some - because you want to engage the reader in the story and make your script a natural page-turner.

"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it."
- Clint Eastwood
ROFLMAO!!! W : )

That's why Skip makes the Big Money...

Heh. If I'd wanted that I'd have been a lawyer!
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That's why Skip makes the Big Money...

Heh. If I'd wanted that I'd have been a lawyer!

Yeah, there's big money doing court-appointed work for indigent clients.. ;-)
I don't think money is motivating factor for either of us.
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