Screenwriting is one of the newest forms of writing. It remains one of the least explored areas of writing, and starting a script can be daunting for novice writers. The following is a step-by-step guide to each stage of the script writing process.
Before actually beginning your screenplay, determine the vital elements of the story. These are some tools to help refine your idea:
A treatment is broken into five sections:
After developing your story and characters, it is useful to outline each part of your script. Outlining makes it easier to look at the entire story and ensure that it flows smoothly.
Make sure that each unit of your story, from scenes to acts, follows the pattern of:
Make the outline as simple or detailed as you feel it should be. At the bare minimum, an outline should include the major beats for every act of the story.
All screenplays are written in a specific format. There are numerous software packages that will handle the formatting for you, and screenplay templates are available for download online. The industry standard software is Final Draft, but there are also free-to-use screenwriting programs, such as Celtx, available online.
After You Write
Once the script is complete, your work has just begun. Here are some tips on how to improve a script once it is finished.
You may ask your peers to give feedback on specific aspects of your script. Here are some example questions:
This is the most overlooked part of the writing process. Once your entire story is on the page, use these guidelines to help your script reach its maximum potential.
Resources for Screenwriters
Here are some more resources for screenwriting: