How To Write A Screenplay: A Step By Step Guide

How To Write A Screenplay: A Step By Step Guide

Have you been dreaming of writing your very own drama series? Or perhaps, create an action-packed movie?

No problem at all. With tons of determination, perseverance and creativity, everyone can write a good screenplay.  But how can you get started? Follow this step by step guide.

Choose one genre.

One of the biggest mistakes that novice writers do is that, they hesitate to pick one genre. While this is just fine, you might end up selling your works over and over again. Why? It is simply because you don’t have your own brand as a screenplay writer.

As much as possible, concentrate in one genre. When you know you’ve captured a good audience, then that’s the right time to branch out.

Logline is a must.

In case you weren’t aware, logline refers to one-sentence summary.  In a general sense, they are usually used as an advertising tool. Once an executive requested you to present the best pitch you have, you have to mention the logline first.

Furthermore, logline serves as handy guide so you can concentrate on the most vital parts of the story. Simply put, they are the outline of the story. More often than not, they have an antagonist, a protagonist and a specific goal.

Accentuate the story development.

Screenwriting isn’t just composing anything under the sun out of your chosen genre. You need to really know your story. You need to give it a life. As a screenplay writer, you have to dive deeper into the story and be able to utilize what you know.

Treatments should provide executives the assurance that they are investing their money on the right person.  But just like the logline, it significantly helps writer to take a glimpse of their entire story. In other words, it is the initial sketch of the screenplay. Typically, 2-5 page of summaries divide the entire story into three acts namely title of the screenplay, logline and lastly, synopsis.

Organize the outline of the screenplay

One golden rule every screenplay writer should know is that, never show your outline, not unless they are your partners. Most of the time, feature movies contain 40 scenes. What do you need to do in the outline is create major dialogue and map out the major events and setting in every scene.

Time for flash draft

This writing stage can be summarized into three parts:

  1. Write as fast as you can
  2. No to overthinking
  3. Don’t try to edit yet

Edit, edit, edit

It is advisable to have at least three drafts.  Once you’re done, make it a habit to read your work once finished. But do not edit yet. Instead, it pays off to take notes.  After that, proceed on the second draft. Here, concentrate on all structural changes such as eliminating characters, filling holes or rewriting.

Finally on the third draft, you may polish it already, particularly on creating an exceptional dialogue.

There you have it—a step by step guide on how to be a screenplay writer. Keep in mind that practice plays a crucial role in mastering this skill. Don’t be afraid to practice and practice and practice.

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