A couple of days ago, I saw a character on the show Californication type Fade in: and then continue to write a movie script (as you can see here).

Yesterday, I heard someone say:

If you would like to write a successful book, just type "Fade in" and start writing.

Is Fade in an idiom around authors? Is it commonly used?

  • 3
    Fade in is a reference to screenplays; the scene starts with the camera literally fading in. – user13141 Nov 24 '11 at 9:08
  • So the second quote means "If you want to write a successful book, make it a film or TV script". – Colin Fine Nov 24 '11 at 17:13
  • Please accept answers that are acceptable/that answer your question. – hunter2 Jul 15 '13 at 11:19

I think "Fade in" is meant to refer to the effect used in TV and movies when the image goes from black (or sometimes white or another shade) to the opening scene of the movie/show.

As such, you would see the words "Fade In" and "Fade Out" on TV/movie scripts.

It sounds like the quote you included was using that same concept as bit of a humorous idiom for writing a novel... as though the first scene of the novel could "fade in"to view of the reader.

| improve this answer | |
  • aha, yes. It was actually a TV/movie script. Let me update my question. – tugberk Nov 24 '11 at 9:15
  • updated the question, can you have a look? but what about the second sentence that I heard? – tugberk Nov 24 '11 at 9:17
  • My last sentence was meant to address that quote... "It sounds like the person you're quoting was using the same concept as a bit of a humorous idiom..." Answer updated to hopefully make that more clear. – Flimzy Nov 24 '11 at 9:18

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