1.) Watch Good and Bad Movies
You can learn just as much from horrible movies as you do great ones. Watching the “not so good” ones can help ensure you don’t make the same mistakes on your future script. Sometimes you have to watch a bad movie or two, to appreciate a good one!
2.) Know Your Story
Some screenwriters set out to write their scripts with no clear indication of what’s going to happen. They have a good story idea, but no set story line. Scripts really do have more structure then some people seem to realize, and that kind of structure is what producers and execs like to see. Scriptwriting is all about trimming the fat of your story to make it as clear and concise as possible. So how can you manage that if you are not sure where your story is going? Make sure your act breaks end clear, and just like your characters, you need to shoot for a goal in each scene.
3.) Structure: 5 Plot Points
- Inciting Incident: Often referred to as the “point of attack” this part is the initial premonition of what the line of the story will be.
- Lock In: This is where the protagonist is locked into the predicament of the story and has to change his/her objective into a new direction.
- First Culmination: This part usually happens around the midpoint of the second act. And although it is important to the story, it is not as important as the “lock in” or “main culmination.”
- Main Culmination: This part is when the story line brings the main tension to a close while also helping to create a new tension.
- Third Act Twist: The twist is an unexpected turn of events around the third act. Without a twist, the third act can seem boring and predictable. This is also usually the last test of the hero.
4.) Give Stage Directions
In a script, having cues given to actors is necessary.
[Happily], [Jumping], [Clicking Heels]
These help create a sense of timing and/or emphasis which will better convey what you are trying to get across on the screen. It helps the reader “hear” the lines they are supposed to deliver, and if deemed necessary, add bold words, italics, CAPS, or whatever you think will help the reader best understand your story.
5.) Perform Your Script
You can do something with your friends and/or actors called a table read. At the read, make copies of your script for each reader and assign part to everyone. You, as the author, do not get a part though. Your job during the table read is to feverishly jot down notes during the read on when lines fall flat, missed opportunity for humor arises; pacing that is off, etc. After hearing your story read out loud, it can really help you see things much clearer. Don’t forget to make the changes written down during table read to your script ASAP, so ideas and edits are fresh in your head.
6.) Believe in Your Dream
Its cliché, but true. You have to remind yourself that even as an unknown writer, the combination of a really great script and belief in oneself, can take you a long way.
Sources: thescriptlab.com, goinswriter.com & whatculture.com
Image courtesy of: Google