What is Script Writing & How To Do It

In this post, we go over what is script writing and how to do it.

What is Script Writing & How To Write a Script

Writing a screenplay is fraught with challenges but is ultimately very rewarding. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to develop a good screenplay, and if your objective is to sell it, finishing the first draft is only the first step in the process.

Next, you must polish the story, which may require additional drafts, find an agent, send your script off to studios and producers, and hope that someone likes it enough to take a significant financial risk to purchase it. Unless, of course, you intend to provide funding and produce the work on your own.

When you are creating and writing your screenplay, there are a few steps that you need to follow. Keep in mind, however, that there are no hard and fast rules, so these things could take place in any order or not at all. It depends on the story, and ultimately it comes down to you.

Step 1: Craft a Logline

A logline is a concise summary of your story, typically consisting of no more than a single sentence, that describes the protagonists and their goals in addition to the antagonists and the conflict they face.

The protagonist is the story's hero and the main character, while the antagonist is the story's antagonist, also known as the "bad guy" or "opposing force."

A logline's purpose is to communicate your story's central idea and the feelings evoked by it. What exactly happens in this tale? What kind of fashion is this? How does it feel?

Back in the day, the logline was always printed on the back of the screenplay's spine. Because of this, the producers could get a general sense of the story very quickly, which helped them decide whether or not they wanted to spend the time reading it.

Even though it is typically communicated verbally or included with treatment, the logline still fulfills the same function it did in the past.

Step 2: Write a Treatment

Treatment is an extended synopsis that can be anywhere from two to five pages long and includes the title of your screenplay, the logline, a list of the main characters, and a brief synopsis.

Treatments, much like loglines, are typically employed for marketing. Before deciding whether or not to invest their time in reading the script, a producer might first read the story's treatment.

The plot summary should emphasize the narrative's most important events and turning points. Anyone who reads it ought to be able to form a very solid opinion regarding the story, the characters, and the author's approach. They should gain sufficient knowledge to be able to empathize with the characters and want to follow them on their journey to find out how everything turns out.

Before diving into the specifics of writing each scene, you should first write a treatment. This will allow you to view your story in its entirety and see how it reads on the page.

It will also help you determine what aspects of the story are successful and which ones need improvement. Because the treatment will be used to market your screenplay, you must include your name and contact information.

Step 3: Develop Your Characters

Take some time to consider the tale you intend to tell. What exactly is this about? Do you already understand the theme?

Then, develop characters that will provide a counterpoint to the central question and must go through a significant change to respond to it.

Many character profile worksheets are available online, and each can assist you in bringing your characters' personalities to life. These two, which can be found here and here, are the ones that I've found most useful.

When you're developing your characters, the most important thing you can do is make sure they're interesting and sympathetic simultaneously. Even the villain ought to have a justification for why he acts the way he does, even if it's not good.

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Step 4: Plot and Outline

Deconstruct your story into the individual components that make up its narrative arc, and then map out each scene using a beat-by-beat format.

For this purpose, I know a few authors who prefer using index cards or notebooks.

To outline my screenplays, I use Trello. I begin by constructing a board for every script, after which I generate a list of all the components of the narrative arc and assign a card to each scene.

Next, I make a checklist of the story beats and write notes about the characters or plot on each playing card.

Do whatever it is that helps you the most. The purpose of this is to organize your story's plot. You will save yourself a lot of time in the long run if you create an outline that is as detailed as possible.

Remember that tension is the engine that drives a story as you plot. Tension must be built up and released if the audience remains interested in the story and its progression.

There is tension present whenever hope is contrasted with fear. This is what compels the hero to transform.

Step 5: Write the First Draft

Write your script, scene by scene, using your outline as a guide. Be sure to include descriptive action and dialogue in each scene. A screenplay's first ten pages are typically considered the most important.

In most cases, a reader or producer will have an overwhelming number of scripts thrown their way, and they simply do not have the time to read all of them. They'll read the first ten pages of a screenplay if it can hook them.

They are likelier to continue reading the script if it contains engaging characters and the essential components of an effective structure. In that case, I'm going to have to throw it away.

The screenplay is a very specific type of writing format. Screenwriting is distinct from other forms of storytelling in that every word of descriptive action must be written in the present tense and describes something the audience can see or hear. While it is true that many elements are common to any story, regardless of the medium, this does not apply to screenwriting.

Although typewriters and word processors are perfectly serviceable, it is strongly recommended that you invest in software that can format your documents automatically. Unfortunately, when it comes to screenplays, Hollywood adheres to a relatively conventional format.

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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