How to Write a Script Without Dialogue

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How to Write a Script Without Dialogue

Although dialogue is an important component to many forms of storytelling. Screenwriters frequently find themselves stuck in a routine of simply throwing words onto a page. And struggling to create the true visual representation that is desired among audiences. While film scripts typically outline the dialogue. And narration that makes up the storyline for a movie or video. Knowing how to write a script without dialogue is incredibly important for many reasons. In fact, writing a script that has no dialogue represents the true epitome of the film industry’s motto. “Show, don’t tell.” 

In fact, writing a script that truly has no dialogue. It’s equal parts challenging and enlightening for many screenwriters. Knowing how to write a script without dialogue, in terms of not only the formatting.

But also as far as the progression of the story goes is certainly something that any avid screenwriter should perfect. Challenging as it may be.

Whether just as a means of practicing your efforts at learning how to show, rather than to tell a story. Or as a way of perfecting your screenwriting. Such that when you do decide to include dialogue every single word has purpose.

Writing a script with no dialogue is certainly an art worth practicing. In fact, screenplays that are devoid of dialogue are often some of the perfect examples as to what a screenplay should be. 


The action is the driving force behind your story. And it’s your only true ability to move your story from scene to scene, mood to mood, when there’s no dialogue. Thus, if you’re writing a script without dialogue, you’re going to focus heavily on the action of the story.

If you imagine your story taking place as a series of short stories. Robust actions that your audience will see from the very beginning until the very end. What does it look like?

How does each location, character, and action play out to establish the various desired moods? And underlying contexts for the story that you’re delivering?


In order to maximize the action that takes place. And how the action logically progresses in order to show your story. Many filmmakers and script readers like to see a script that has a lot of white space.

While this is a formatting technique more than an actual writing technique. It’s certainly something to consider when approaching the art of learning how to write a script without dialogue.


  • Start by writing your story as a series of short actions. 
  • Aim for each action on the screen to be delivered in three lines of script or less. 
  • Make sure to separate your locations for each action. Using all CAPS to provide the following details: interior or exterior (INT or EXT), location description (SAM’S LIVING ROOM), and time of day (DAY/NIGHT).
  • Use locations to quickly set the stage for the story that you’re trying to tell.


When learning how to write a script without dialogue, many beginning or novice screenwriters get caught up in the idea of writing a completely silent film. However, no dialogue does not mean no sound.

Films without dialogue can certainly have other sounds that add to, enhance, or otherwise help with the progression of the actions included in the story.


Movies that do not include dialogue can still be incredibly intriguing and active when it comes to the audible sounds that are to be included. Consider including sounds that add to the effect of the film.

For example, if your film is about a man taking his wife to an expensive gourmet restaurant. And the couple enjoys a romantic dinner for two together. You don’t need dialogue. But there can still be sounds that enhance the story.

For example, you might include audible sounds of nearby couples in the restaurant. Chatting off camera. And perhaps you’ll have the sound of romantic music playing in the background.

As well as sounds associated with the kitchen or various other elements that are part of the story. None of these sounds are dialogue. A pure example of the fact that no dialogue does not mean no sound.


Finally, learning how to write a script without dialogue also requires you to focus a bit more on the characteristics that you give each of your characters.

Because there will be no dialogue between characters, you’ll have to give your characters visually distinguishable characteristics that help the audience to understand who each character is and how their role impacts the story. 

Creating vivid characteristics for each of your characters that are noticeable distinguishable from each other will help you to build your character arcs even in a film without dialogue.

Use empathy to build your characters up through their actions so that your audience feels connected to the characters in your film. 


Think about the ways that you can incorporate characteristics that are visually represented in each of your characters. Use visual stereotypes to define your characters. For example, psychologically the color purple has long been used as a tricky color that is common for the evil character of a story.

Thus, if you were to create the stereotypical villain, he or she might wear purple clothes and have distinct facial features along with behaviors that make them appear sneaky or otherwise like they are up to something in the story.

You don’t need words to portray the villain stereotype, you just need to think about the actions and the visual representation of the character that will cause your audience to connect the symbolic meanings together. 


Likewise, if you were to have a character in your film that was the typical jock, you would likely show off the character’s muscular features. The actions the character is involved in would likely include things like working out, or showing off his strength.

While his visual representation would give off the appearance of someone that is into sports. Again, no words or dialogue would be required in order to build up this character’s features within the story.

As you can see, learning how to write a script without dialogue is really about the use of visual attributes and actions to deliver the story. Formatting a script without dialogue will be similar to formatting a storyboard.

You’ll use your action lines to deliver the key details, with each action item being delivered in three lines or less and always including a heading that dictates location, setting, and important character details.