Screenwriting is the craft of writing scripts for film, television, or plays. However, video games do require a script as well. A feature film has three acts. Teleplays, screenplays for television, have four or five acts along with a teaser and tag. Plays can have three or more acts. Shakespeare’s plays have four or five acts! The one aspect screenplays have in common is they must appeal to an audience. If an audience doesn’t understand your story, you’re screenplay will not gain momentum.
Whether you’re writing a screenplay for film, TV, or play, it’s important to know and understand the elements of a screenplay such as scene, character, and dialogue. Crafting well, thought out scenes will help your story flow. You can ask yourself question such as do the scenes move too slowly or fast? Are they stagnating at times? How fast do you characters get in and out of a scene? Asking yourself these and other questions will assist you with scenes.
Characters and or plots usually drive a story. Writing compelling, solid characters is the key to attracting actors to your screenplay. You may want to fill out a character grid to help you get to know your characters. You’ll answer questions such as where was the character born? What is his/her hair and eye color? What is the personality type? What is their occupation? What is unique about your characters? How are they flawed? How will the audience relate to your characters? How will the audience react to your characters? Answering these and other questions can assist you with character development.
Many screenwriters struggle with dialogue. The key to writing dialogue is to just write it – get to the point! You have one minute per page to capture your audience. Frivolous dialogue will slow your screenplay down. It helps to hear your dialogue. Ask family and friends to read your dialogue so you can hear and listen to the words. Find local actors to read the words you wrote. Actors will know how to act the “part” and say the lines. You may cringe when you hear your words, but the feedback is beneficial. You’ll become stronger at writing dialogue.
You may want to move to L.A. if you’re serious about screenwriting. According to a former Hollywood insider, people will not take you seriously if they don’t see a L.A. address. They believe, “…if you don’t want to move to L.A. where the business is then you’re not a serious screenwriter.” Whatever you decide, keep writing and strengthening your skills.
A guest article by Rebecca Sebek, MSM who has the following webistes:
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