Being a screenwriter is not easy, especially if you’re just starting out. But the question you really have to ask yourself is: how do you become a good screenwriter?
There are countless books and articles on this subject, but I want to point out one thing that no one ever seems to mention. It’s the most important part of your craft and without it, your story will fail.
How To Start A Script The Right Way
What Is Starting a script?
The first step to creating your script is to decide on the format you want to write it in, whether it be scene headings and dialogue or just dialogue lines.
If you are writing a screenplay for submission for a competition or an agent then it is best to stick with the format that they request.
After deciding on the formatting of your script, you will need to decide how many characters there are in your story and how many pages each character will get.
For example, if your main character only speaks once on page 51 then they may not need their own page headings or title page, but someone who has lots of dialogue throughout may need their own page layout.
How To Start A Script
There are two ways to start a script: with a screenplay or with a story.
What do I mean by that? Well, in order to have something worth reading, you have to have an idea first. This can be inspired by something in your life or just something that popped into your head while drinking your morning coffee.
Either way – it doesn’t matter where the idea came from – what matters is what you do with it next. If you decide to go with the screenplay route and start writing right away, chances are high that your story will turn out pretty dull.
How To Prepare A Script
The script is the heart of your telemarketing campaign. It’s a detailed explanation of your offer, how it works and how much it costs. It should be no more than two pages long (although some scripts are shorter), and it should include an introduction to the product or service you’re selling,who you are, and what you do, a description of the benefits of this particular product or service, pricing information and the close (the part where you ask for money). When preparing a script, keep in mind that people like to be spoken to personally.
Lead with your own name at least twice right up front. Find ways to refer back to yourself throughout the script. If you’re selling a dog food that helps dogs lose weight, use your own pet as an example: “Our dog is so skinny now—thanks to Dog Food X.”
Another way to make your script sound more personal is to use indirect questions. For example: “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for your grocery bills to go down?” You don’t say: “We can cut your grocery bills in half.” Instead, you leave the question open for them to answer themselves: “You can cut your grocery bills in half.”
What Are The Scriptwriting Steps
One of the first steps in writing a script is to decide exactly what you want to write about. Many people think that the scriptwriting process is just about writing down the story, but this isn’t so. Scriptwriting is about communicating a message or idea to an audience and if you don’t know what the message is before you start writing, it can be very difficult to work out what you’re trying to say once you’ve started.
Like many writers, I find that my ideas come from everywhere—from watching TV or films, from books I read and even from conversations I have with friends. After all ideas are all over the place, and as long as you feel comfortable with what your talking about and how your going to present it, then thats fine.
Once you have an idea for your script, research it well so that you can make sure that your facts are correct. This will help people understand and relate to your script more easily if they like the subject matter and also helps avoid embarrassing mistakes like spelling someone’s name wrong or getting facts wrong.
The Internet is a great resource for information and if nothing else, it can point you in the right direction of where to go and who to speak to.
How To Start Writing A Script
If you want to write a good script, then you must be able to know how to start writing a script. Writing a script is no easy feat. If you can come up with an excellent plot that will keep your audience active throughout the whole movie, then you have just accomplished something great.
However, it does take time and effort to create something like this. It may be necessary for you to prepare yourself before you even start writing because it is not as easy as it seems. You are going to need a lot of time in order to write an excellent script so it is important for you to allot some time if you want to do this properly.
You should already have in mind what plot line you are going to use when you are writing your script. A plot line serves as the backbone for your story and if it is not strong enough then there is no point of writing the screenplay anymore at all. You need to consider the plot line first before anything else because without this, your entire script will be pointless.
Once you have decided on the plot line, then it would be best that you start by making an outline or notes of everything that will happen in your story.
How To Start A Script With A Killer Opening Scene
You’re writing a script and you want it to have a killer opening scene. What do you do? Here’s how to start a script with a killer opening scene. Annie Baker, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her play The Flick, says that her greatest accomplishment is the first 10 pages of her script. She said she can’t imagine selling it if she doesn’t like those first 10 pages. I agree!
My best advice: Write an opening scene where the main character wants something and makes it clear that they are willing to sacrifice anything to get it. We all know scripts tend to start too slow and then pick up speed, so jump right in with action and conflict (remember, conflict is internal and external).
Get your main character doing something and let them fail at what they were trying to do in an interesting way. This will hook your audience from the very beginning. Why does this work? It’s because humans are goal-oriented creatures by nature. People want things, especially in movies – even more than sex or violence.
People want love, acceptance, money, revenge, power etc… So when we see a character working towards something at the very beginning of a script, we instantly become engaged in the story and want to know what happens next.
7 Ways To Create One-Of-A-Kind Script Ideas
One of the most common questions I get from aspiring screenwriters is “How do I come up with great ideas for my script ideas?” It’s a tough question to answer because, as we all know, it’s not about having a great idea. It’s about having the right idea.
Truly original screenplays are a rare breed and they are always in high demand. If you want to make money writing Hollywood movies, it’s essential to know how to develop your own one-of-a-kind script ideas. Three elements must be considered when developing original story ideas:
You must understand the basics of storytelling so you can identify what makes one idea better than another.
You must understand the marketplace so you can see where your idea will fit in best.
You must be able to create originality out of thin air by tapping into your subconscious mind, which is an inexhaustible source of material for movie plots and characters. Every writer can generate dozens if not hundreds of original story ideas each year if he or she follows some simple guidelines.
The best part is that these techniques don’t take any special talent or intelligence to use effectively.
How To Format Your Script Effectively
In this section we’re going to take a look at how to format your script effectively.
Tone:This is probably the most important element in any successful spec screenplay. So, how do you decide how to write your tone?
Well, it’s fairly simple. You write it the same way you’d talk to a friend or colleague. In other words, assuming you want your spec to be read by another human being and not some sort of automated system like a computer program or movie studio reader, it’s best to write as if you were talking directly to another person.
The only real exception here is if you’re writing a comedy. Comedy is much more difficult to write so if you have any doubts about your ability to effectively write comedy, I highly recommend that you avoid doing so until you’ve gained more experience. Writing comedy is really hard and needs a lot of practice and study.
In all other cases though, keep your tone conversational and simple. There’s nothing worse than reading an overly complex or dense tone in a script. If someone can’t understand what it’s about just by reading the tone section then they probably won’t want to bother reading the rest of the script either.
Spec Script vs. Shooting Script
In the movie industry, there are two main types of screenplays. The first is known as a “spec script,” or a “speculation.” A screenwriter writes a script and then sells it to a producer, who will then hire actors, set up locations, find financing and pay the screenwriter in exchange for the right to produce the film.
Spec scripts are usually written by people who are new to the industry, do not have an agent, and may not be affiliated with any production companies. A spec script can also be written by someone who has been working in the industry but wants to try their hand at writing alone without having to answer to a producer.
This type of script comes with its own unique challenges because there is no one else involved in the process to help guide or shape it into something that can get made into a film. The creative control rests entirely on the shoulders of the writer.
Learn Screenwriting – Read Some Scripts For Inspiration
Many screenwriters have a collection of scripts at home that have been used for research, inspiration, or just plain fun. Get yourself writing by reading some screenplays for inspiration and ideas. You can find many online for free through sites like The Black List, Script City or Simply Scripts.
The great thing about reading screenplays is that you’re seeing what works and what doesn’t work on the page. This can be just as helpful in your own writing as any film study you do. Reading screenplays also allows you to see how different writers use language to create rhythm and tension in dialogue and description.
Pay close attention to how characters speak and the choices they make in their speech. How do they speak differently to different people? How do their words reveal their true intentions? Also pay attention to how these writers describe settings, action, and character emotion.
- What choices are they making with the language they use?
- What kind of adjectives do they favor?
- Are they more visual or more visceral?
- Does it flow well or feel choppy?
Try doing a few writing exercises based off different script samples you’ve read. Writing dialogue based off a sample will help your dialogue feel more natural when you write it on your own screenplay.