How to Write a Movie Script: Best Tips on Screenwriting

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If you are working on a screenplay, you know how hard it can be to create an original plot with interesting characters. There are many different movies already, and every year the new ones appear. If you are into screenwriting but have no idea where to start, then you came to the right place. In this article, you can find out more about how to write a movie script

Preparing to write a screenplay 

Before you actually start writing your scenario, there are a few steps which have to be taken first. Follow them to be ready:

  • Understand the definition of a script. Another word is also a screenplay. Its goal is to describe all the elements that are present in any story which is told through the camera. The screenplay is rarely written by one person as in the case of books or plays.
  • Don’t only watch films, read movie scripts as well. Take a \script and read. Then, watch a movie. After doing so, read a script once more. Try to notice the small details. 
  • Don’t limit yourself to reading only those screenplays you like. Start with classical movies, and then move on to less popular once. It’s also good to read scripts of the films which failed. This will help you learn from the mistakes of other authors.
  • Sketch out your ideas. Try to brainstorm everything you have in your mind. Even the most absurd concepts might be successful. Note everything, give it some time, and then go back to review your notes.
  • Learn more about the right format of a screenplay. It’s not only about writing. The process of creating a good script requires you the basic knowledge of formatting. There are many apps that you can use for that purpose, just choose the one which suits your needs.

Best tips on writing a script 

Screenwriting of good quality takes requires from an author a lot of work and thinking. Use these tips to create a great screenplay: 

  1. First of all, write a few short sentences that describe your story. It’s similar to what you can read on the back of a book: a short description of a plot. Of course, the plot will change, and you will change the description as well.
  2. Create an outline. It is the same as a plan. Sketch out the beginning, narrative, the conflict of a story. Think about the connections between characters and how they influence the plot.
  3. Write the story in three acts. In the first act, you set the tone for the story. You introduce the characters, and the story begins. In the second act, your main hero encounters obstacles and attempts to solve the problems. This part is the biggest one. The third act contains the end of your story and some interesting twist of the plot. 
  4. Keep in mind the length of the scenario. In the field of screenwriting, the standard length of a screenplay is around 120-130 pages for a 2 hours film. Of course, you are not limited to this amount, but don’t forget to watch the length.
  5. Work on the characters. Great characters actually make the film good or bad. Sketch out your characters, and try to describe them to your friends and family. How real do they seem? Create personalities who look like real people.
  6. Compose the scenes. These are the events which take place in the film. To make the story interesting, you should work on writing scenes which move the plot forward.
  7. Create dialogues. A good dialogue can be hard to work on, but as a result, it can help your character to find a voice. Great dialogues can also develop your characters and show how they changed. To formulate good dialogue, try to read it out loud.

Finishing the screenplay

  • Get rid of the weakest parts. After you finish writing the text, re-read and remove the dead end. It might feel like all of the parts of the screenplay are needed, but often that’s not true.
  • Show your work to others. Ask your friends or family to read the screenplay and give some feedback. Don’t hesitate to ask people to check out what you wrote. 
  • Edit your work. It is impossible to avoid all possible mistakes. Try special apps to correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. You can also use proofreading services to make the screenplay better.
  • Set the font and page size. Page numbers are usually set in the top right corner. The page size depends on the given instructions. The most popular font for the scenarios is Courier 12.
  • Add another necessary formatting. There are other elements which might require formatting: scene heading, names of characters, dialogues, etc. Consider these when editing your text. 

Last thoughts 

In the world of filmmaking and screenwriting, it is hard to create a high-level screenplay that will find its way to the top. But this task is not impossible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: there are always people around you who will be able to give you a piece of advice. And if you feel like you need help with a screenplay, you can always use proofreading services to get assistance with editing.

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