Do you want to learn how to write a script? Then this is the right post for you.
Screenplay writing has been touted to be a difficult exercise from time. But it isn’t all that is because once you understand the script format and structure then you can focus on other things.
By the end of this post, you’ll have understood the process of screenplay writing, so that you can create that superb movie idea you’ve always wanted to create.
What is Screenplay writing?
It can also be explained as a movie script. It’s simply a file or document which often spreads across more than seventy pages. For most screenplay scripts today, they do have a range of about a hundred pages, and there are so many factors that have an influence on this.
Now, let’s look into how to write a good script.
8 Tips on How to write a script
1. Write a logline
A logline is one sentence that answers the overall curiosity of the reader. That is, what is my story about? You need to make sure it takes a round of the plot’s major goal, that is the drama question, what’s the main purpose of the script. And most times, this section isn’t always posed as a question.
And you can revise the logline as you do work towards the final document of the play, but the logline does help you know your directions as you move forwards with the writing process.
When creating a logline for your screenplay writing, why not answer the following stuff;
- What is the type of conflict which arises to challenge the protagonist of the play?
- What is the universe of your play?
- How does the main character of the play involve himself or herself in any of the scenes?
Do make sure it’s precise, at least fifty words or less. And please, do not try to use the name of your character. It’s pretty better to say what they are instead of describing them plainly—never give any spoilers.
- The Tomb: She found herself in a black tunnel, there’s no way to escape. She has to fight the dark force she sees lurking behind the light.
- The Silence: There are these hideous creatures who have been set free from a tomb, he has to do something to save his family from this ordeal.
- Perished: A simple rustic town, but the mysterious deaths are becoming more and more suspicious, they had to do something.
A set outline is foremost in screenplay writing. This is done to write down all of the conflicts, and necessary and unnecessary events which might occur in the script—in their order.
You can apply this in a traditional outline format over single or double pages, or you can write your simple statements on index cards and pin them somewhere, in which they can be seen by you—this is done to make it easy for you to tweak the parts from time to time.
Do make sure that each event is short to the core.
The main goal in this area is to explain the force that will overall shape the main plotline of the given story. Most screenplay writers do call this the through-line.
3. Write your treatment
This is also called a longer summary. Now, once the logline and outline are done. The next phase on learning how to write a script is going to be a slightly intense summary which includes your script’s title, the list of main characters, the logline, and overall a mini synopsis.
When it comes to treatment it’s important to producers, and they do read it to make decisions on whether it’s worth the time and the effort to read your whole script.
Foremost, you do have to make your treatment to include your contact details, so that you’ll be able to be contacted in the future for more contracts.
Do make sure your synopsis says a whole lot of your plot and overall the story. Don’t forget the mentioning of the characters and the overall vibe of the plot. Make anyone who comes across your script thrilled just by reading it.
This part is more like the editing process, in which is the area you sieve out what works, and the stuff that doesn’t work for you. It’s more like the tweaking section of learning how to write your script.
4. Developing of characters
When it comes to character development, it simply means taking your character’s on a thorough journey in finding themselves in your story, so that they can answer these simple questions.
What’s the central basis of your story? What’s the overall synthesis of the story? etc.
I recommend you write a character profile work document when you begin to bring to light the overall behavior and characteristics of your character (this can be found online for free).
Whoever your characters might be, the most important thing is knowing how to write a script that your readers will understand easily.
5. Write the first draft
This is the time to let your outline direct you. Make sure you write your script scene by scene, and that includes the descriptive action as well as the dialogue. When it comes to the first ten pages of a screenplay, they’re the most important. You do not know how to write a script if your reader has no iota of what you’re talking about or what you’re trying to pass across.
If your script is pretty good and does have catchy characters, and a well-structured element, then be rest assured they’ll continue reading what you give. If not, then it’s straight into the dustbin.
Read also, 45 Amazing Mystery Short Story Ideas
When it comes to learning how to write a script, it’s the most special format in all writing types. Scriptwriting or screenplay writing is all about descriptive action, and nothing else, and it must be written always in the present tense, and do succinctly describe something your readers can relate to.
Now that the first draft has been completed, you’re going somewhere. This tends to make you have a better insight of your story, and you can devise ways to tell the story to the world.
Do go back and tweak as I said previously, you need to refine the screenplay writing more. Not to forget to tighten the dialogue, and editing all unnecessary materials. If you wish to be an expert in learning how to write a script then you need to do this way more than often, and that’s more than once.
When creating the final draft, make sure you use more white spaces on your pages, it looks better when reading. Most producers hate clusters, so if you strain their eyes so much then your script goes straight to the bin, no matter how good your story is.
In summary, learning how to write a script can be a daunting job, and that’s because it needs a whole lot of your time and effort to strengthen yourself in the craft.
At the end of it all, it’s an all-happy process, in which you have the possibility to create characters that come to your mind and watch them come to life. So, do take your time to study and rewrite your script, and in no time you’ll be an expert in knowing the itsy-bit of details in how to write a script.
7. Present your script
Once that’s done, it’s time to prepare, and bind your script for presentation. You can do the following if you wish to have a perfect flow in learning how to write a script;
- Type and print the title page, and script on a two-three hole punched document or paper.
- Do make sure to place the script and title page on the script cover.
- If you’ve got something to hold them at the top, and bottom holes, then use it. You can also use brass fasteners.
- Now proceed to slip washers right at the back of what you’ve used to hold it.
- Then finally, hammer the fasteners or the likes with the script binding mallet.
That done, you’re ready to make a good presentation, and surely make a statement.
8. Remember to use screenplay formatting software
Do make sure you use screenplay formatting software, it’s pretty helpful if you wish to make your producer believe you really know how to write a script. Examples of scriptwriting software are, StudioBinder, Save the cat, WriterDuet, etc.
When it comes to screenplay writing, it’s said to be a profession that involves its technicalities. Here are a few of the terms and items needed in understanding the skill overall.
- Scene heading: the scene header must appear at the top of each new scene and includes this information. EXT or INT (exterior or interior), the given location, the period, and the day. For instance, “INT. HOTEL-DAY”
- Action line: when it comes to the action lines, it describes what the character is doing in a scene.
- Parenthetical: this is a small direction that includes before a character’s line and suggests how the line should be delivered.
- Transition: FADE IN, this item of the screenplay writing is said to come before the very first line of your script. FADE OUT, which marks the end.
Other transitions like DISSOLVE TO or MATCH CUT TO may be applied throughout your script.
- Voiceover: V.O, also called voiceover, is applied when an unseen narrator interjects into the given scene.
- Camera angle: Well, this is typically avoided by writers; the camera angles can be noted in screenplay writing if they’re essential to the way a scene unfolds, maybe enabling the display of a big reveal or a joke.
With that said, all I can say at this juncture is good luck!