When it comes to screenwriting - or the writing of a story in the form of a screenplay - it is important to understand that one of the fundamental raw materials you are working with is TIME. Time, not so much in terms of how long the story is, but rather in terms of the way you manage its rhythms and pacing, its rests and climaxes. Time is of the essence - it is essential to the story's movement and, therefore, its meaning, just as is the case in our daily lives. Time is dramatized change, conveyed through shots and scenes. When reading a script or watching a film, we must have a sense of time passing and in that passing the sense of the emotional weight, the emotional urgency, by which the characters are moved in their individual and/or collective quests. Whether it's a tragedy or a comedy it's all about timing in which time is compressed, intensified, re-vivified in ways that keep us at the centre of the story's emotional energy.
Billy Marshall Stoneking