What are the elements of script writing?

In this post, we go over what are the elements of script writing.

What is Screenwriting & Scriptwriting

A screenwriter or playwright will lay out their vision for an upcoming film or stage production as a script. This script will also serve as a road map for the director, designers, and actors.

A script is used in producing movies, television shows, and stage plays. It includes the stage directions, characters, setting, and dialogue. When creating productions like these, directors must adhere to the script's directives.

Playwrights are the people who write scripts for live theater, and live theater scripts are also sometimes called playscripts. Screenwriters are the people who write scripts for movies and television shows. A script for a movie is known as a screenplay, while a script for television is known as a teleplay.

The artistic process for a dramatic performance begins with the script, but film, television, and theater are all inherently collaborative mediums. The script is interpreted by the director, the actors, and the designers.

These industry experts frequently discover previously unknown facets of the subject matter during the scriptwriting process that the original screenplay writer probably never even considered. Even though a strong script is necessary for performing well, it is not the only component that goes into the creative process.

What Are The Elements of Script Writing?

It doesn't matter what kind of story it is or what genre it falls into; five components must be present. They make it possible for novelists and screenwriters to craft stories that are engaging to readers and worthy of being told. They function similarly to building blocks in that they are connected to carry the load and ensure that your narrative is balanced.

First, we will go over each component, and then we will demonstrate how to get started writing. At the very end, you'll find a checklist that you can use to evaluate the quality of your screenplay based on these five components.

The components that go into a good story are not, by any means, a closely guarded secret. But, depending on which theory of storytelling you consult, you might hear them by a different name. We will refer to these elements as the character, the plot, the structure, the conflict, and the resolution.


There must always be a hero in the story. The events in your story are determined by the actions of your protagonist or main character. There would be no story if it weren't for the heroic actions taken by the protagonist.

Your audience will be more interested in the story if they can relate to the main character and root for them to succeed.

In the beginning, your protagonist will be far from perfect; however, if you give them characteristics that make them likable, the audience will want to keep following along. When we consider a character credible or genuine, we have formed an opinion that they are well-rounded.

Complexity abounds in human beings. An interesting character always has at least one thing that they should work on, whether it be a problem or a flaw in their character. Batman is a flawed and even tragic hero, as the implication of the title The Dark Knight suggests.

Fixing something the protagonist needs to deal with drives the plot forward and allows the story to progress. The problem can take the form of an adversary, a foe, or a villain—in other words, an antagonist—who serves as a counterpoint to the protagonist.

The story is further populated with secondary characters, all of whom serve to support the main plot. They make it possible for the protagonist's character to develop further or undergo a change.


Want and Need

A hero who is perfect in every way would make for a dull story. In every great story, the protagonist is defined by their desires and aspirations. The wishes, dreams, and aspirations of the main character are the things that drive them to take the actions that they do in the story.

One thing is the target of the hero's pursuit, also known as what they are looking for. But what ends up being the true solution to their flaw or problem is something else: their need ends up causing their life to change. This paired aspect of the story is also referred to as the premise and the theme, the A story and the B story, as well as the external and the internal story.

The main character's individuality can be incorporated into the journey through the outside world, which should include exciting action. The internal journey requires the hero to learn something about them or change who they are as a person. It is more reflective and more universal.

Finding love, trust, faith, or a human connection may be the key to fixing the hero's flaw. Other possible solutions include accepting responsibility, overcoming fear, making a sacrifice, or simply surviving. The idea behind Ready Player One is that the protagonist should connect outside the virtual world rather than within it.


The narrative thread, also known as the plot, is a sequence of events in which earlier happenings and deeds impact those thatcome after them. Your story's plot is what binds all of the events together and guides the reader or listener toward the answer to the question: Why does it all happen? The plot, in conjunction with the characters, is responsible for everything in your writing.

The narrative of every great story can be broken down into a handful of distinct patterns or archetypes. The exact number of them varies according to the various theories of storytelling.

According to Aristotle, there were only two types of plots: simple and complex. More specific story archetypes or master plots can be found in modern approaches, which feature a greater number of them. The most important takeaway is the underlying themes in these different stories.

Joseph Campbell, an American professor of literature, coined the term "monomyth" to describe the quest plot or hero's journey, both of which are examples of archetypes. Think of Don Quixote or The Wizard of Oz when you want an example of a hero who embarks on an adventure or quest to find something, achieves victory in the face of a defining challenge, and then returns home fundamentally altered or transformed.

The plot does not determine the genre. For example, the love stories categorized as belonging to the broadest range can be found in the romance genre. The romance plot typically revolves around the meeting of two individuals, whether through fortuitous or random circumstances.

After they realize they are in love, they must overcome some challenges to be together in time for the story to end happily ever after (Pretty Woman) or tragically (Romeo and Juliet).


You should now be familiar with the whom and what of your story, including the desires and requirements of your characters and the hero, as well as the events that will take place involving them. The component known as structure decides what belongs when establishing order and contributing to forming a cohesive whole.

The plot and the structure are intricately intertwined. The structure determines when the plot's events occur, but the plot decides what those events are. Timing is everything within the framework of the basic three-act structure of beginning, middle, and conclusion.

Aristotle referred to these three aspects of a narrative as the setup, the conflict, and the resolution. This is known as the "three-act structure," outlining the major plot points and the transitions from one act to the next.

Additional occurrences that have either immediate or delayed effects will be included in your narrative. Story beats is a term that can be used to describe these events. They are the building blocks of the plot, the threads that bind the story's events together. These components and the order in which they occur are depicted in what is known as "beat sheets" for the various types of plots.

The number of story beats and the order in which they occur varies depending on the storytelling school of thought. However, they never stop working toward achieving the ideal buildup and climax of action that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

Conflict and Resolution

Tension is generated by the plot, which makes a story interesting and enjoyable to read.

For example, a love story is a story about two people who meet, fall in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives together. But an intriguing story would be one in which the hero pursues their love despite being rejected. Ben and Sera's relationship in Leaving Las Vegas is doomed by the rule that allows them to live together: they have promised not to change the other person's life.

Create conflict within your narrative to ratchet up the tension. An adversary can be a foe, a character flaw, a rival, or even external circumstances such as society. By making the force that's pushing against you stronger and stronger, you'll be able to ratchet up the tension.

Your protagonist is forced to break free of their current situation and embrace change as a result of the conflict that they face. Their needs precede their desires as they grow until they are finally transformed beyond recognition at the conclusion.

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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