9 General Rules of Script Writing

The following is a list of nine general rules of script writing:

  • Scene/ Scene header

The header indicates the place and time in which the scene takes place. First, it indicates whether the scene takes place indoors (INT.) or outdoors (EXT.). Then the specific name of the place is indicated (house, bar, hospital…).

Finally, the time is indicated (day, night, sunrise, sunset). The header of the scene is written aligned to the left, with 4.3 cm from the left margin and a maximum of 3.3 cm from the right margin.

  • Action/ Description

It briefly describes the scene's action and what the camera sees and hears. When a character first appears, the character's name is capitalized, and a brief description of the character is given.

  • Character/ Character

Before any intervention or dialogue, it must be indicated which character will do so. The name of the character is always written in capital letters and at the center of the page

  • Parenthetical/ Boundary

Stage directions help determine the tone or intent with which dialogue should be said. It is written in parentheses, in lower case, between the character and the dialogue,

  • Transition/ Transition

Transitions indicate a method of changing from one scene to another (FADE TO BLACK:, DISSOLVE:, BOWL:…). They are always in capital letters, aligned to the right,

  • Shot/ Plano

The plans are a camera instructions that should be used only in necessary cases. The shots are the director's decision, so the writer should refrain from using them within the script as much as possible. But if it is done, the shot must be written in two parts: the character in uppercase and below the character's action in lowercase.

  • Act Break / Chapter

Some scriptwriters divide their works into "acts" inherited from the theater, I use this section to end, but it is a matter of style...

  • Note/ Notes

As their name suggests, they are work dimensions, reminders... an element of work.

  • Typography

The standard font for writing film scripts is Courier New size 12. This is inherited from classic Hollywood, where scripts were written on typewriters that used this font. Still, there is also the circumstance that a script page with this font corresponds approximately to one minute of filming so that a producer can calculate the duration of a film by the number of pages of the script.

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Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

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