Write The Screenplay: 5 Basic Steps

Brainstorm

Brainstorming is the act of producing ideas. Both amateur and professional screenwriters use brainstorming techniques to create new, fresh ideas. These news ideas can be for a completed script or a particular sequence or scene. A brainstorming session can be a group activity or solo event if you have a team or writing partner. It can be handled simply with paper and pen or more appropriately with brainstorming software. The latter can spawn thousands of ideas in a matter of hours.

Outline

An outline confers a picture of the central plot points of your screenplay. It’s a way to adjust the ideas you incurred in your brainstorming session. You get to explain the significant events and character interactions of the story. You may write a screenplay without an outline, but the narrative may not be cohesive. Outlining helps you visualize how the principal story and subplot will play out on the dreamy creamy big screen. It will also help you see the strengths, holes, and weaknesses. Again, screenplay outlining can be a simple paper and paper process or created in on professional software.

Story Development

Story development means structuring your story. It’s how your screenplay develops from the start to the middle to the end. Let’s explore each component. The opening provides the audience with necessary information or explanation. It reveals the what, who, where, when, how, and why. The middle of the screenplay is essentially the confrontation stage.

At last, we move to the conclusion. How is your story resolved? What happens to the man character/villain? Do they die? Do they fall in love? Return to outer space? Find its soul mate in a boy/girl older than them?

Character Development

Every screenwriter fantasizes about producing memorable characters but not every screenwriter is willing to do the work to create such characters. As a creator, you push to challenge yourself to look beyond age, name, and occupation. You must go more in-depth and ask, “What are my characters’ wants?”, “What exactly are their needs?”, “What are their real motivations?” The answers will produce memorable, three-dimensional characters.

Format

A final screenplay must follow the necessary industry standards. If it does not, your story/script will be sadly flagged as “immature” and may not get read by the director and producer. The screenplay format is comparatively simple and can be achieved in a couple of ways. You can first buy an ebook or a regular PDF on formatting and then set your Microsoft word processing software according to it. Next, you can purchase a formatting add-on program for your present word processing software.

Generally, a feature length screenplay is between 80 and 120 pages. It uses double spacing for in-depth scene descriptions, between the character’s name and the dialogue, and within the dialogue as well. Double spacing is also used between the description and scene location, between the character’s name and description, and between speeches of distinct characters. For margin setting and exact tab, google your industry standards.

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