Writing a Script
As a writer and writing tutor, I realise how daunting writing a first [or even a fifth script] can be, so my students asked me to write a book to help them. The tips opposite are an extract from it.
These are important questions that will save you months [or even years] of frustration if you’re thinking of writing a screenplay.
Tips from my book
- What is your story about? [In a couple of sentences. Work on the answer for some time as this could become a great log-line and pitch.]
- What genre is it? [Comedy? Horror? Thriller? Drama?]
- What’s the mood of the film? E.g. edgy / comic / mysterious / poignant / frightening, etc.
- What time period does the film cover? I.e. a day, a month, a year, many years or centuries. Would it matter if you changed the time period?
- Who is the main character? [The protagonist] Who is opposing him/her? [The antagonist.]
- In what order are you going to tell your story? Sequentially – with one event linked to another in a sequence of time? Or are you going to jump through time via flashbacks? [Obviously, more complicated.]
- How many locations do you need to illustrate these time periods? Do you need them all? Why?
- What conflicts are there in your story? i.e. What do your characters want? What obstacles are you going to give them?
- How are your major characters going to overcome these obstacles to reach their goal?
- Do you have a sub-plot? i.e. a minor plot which relates in some way to the main plot. [Some scripts have more than one, but don’t make life too hard for yourself.]
Extract from “How To Write Great Screenplays And Get Them Into Production.”