Hi lovely people. How is everyone? I hope you’re doing okay. Grab some water if you haven’t had anything to drink, eat something, and get a breath of fresh air if you can! Writing Wednesday is a feature on this blog that generally happens on Wednesday (although I can’t promise anything) and usually comes up whenever I have the sudden inspiration. I’m sorry for the lack of having any schedule whatsoever.
Today we’re going to be chatting about scripts! If you don’t already know, one of my biggest dreams is to become a screenwriter. I remember watching shows when I was younger and just thinking how much I wanted to be a part of them. It’s still something I would absolutely love to do. Obviously write some young adult on the side… *starts planning out my entire life*
Anyway, if you’re anything like me and dream of writing for television and film, or even just love to watch tv and want to learn a bit more about how it’s made, this post is for you!
*update from future Maeve* I’ve bolded the most important things in this because I wrote a bunch of words and skimming is much easier 😉.
Tips before writing your screenplay:
Before you begin to type your screenplay and wonderful ideas, it’s good to do a little research. Here are some things to help you:
- Read a ton of scripts, and maybe even read them while your watching the show. Look up your favourite movie/tv show and I’m sure, after some digging you’ll find a script. Reddit is great for that. If you can’t seem to find one, let me know the name down in the comments and I will not be at rest until I find a script for you! Also, YouTube has a bunch of videos called “script to screen” that you can watch that I highly recommend. Here are a couple down below:
- Work on dialogue. A lot of screenwriting is dialogue, as none of it is really descriptive work. I personally need to get a lot better at writing dialogue that flows well and sounds normal, because when I speak to people… it doesn’t sound normal 😂
- Learn script lingo, for example: o.s. means off screen, b.g. means background, int. means interior, ext. means exterior, and v.o. means voice over. There are many other terms that had me so confused when I first read a script, but this list really helps.
Tips for writing your script:
- Write a logline. A logline is one sentence that basically describes what your story is about and convinces people to read your script or watch your screenplay. Think of things like how your protagonist is involved, the conflict, and the world that your story is set in. For example the longline for Stranger Things is: ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴀ ʏᴏᴜɴɢ ʙᴏʏ ᴅɪꜱᴀᴘᴘᴇᴀʀꜱ, ʜɪꜱ ᴍᴏᴛʜᴇʀ, ᴀ ᴘᴏʟɪᴄᴇ ᴄʜɪᴇꜰ ᴀɴᴅ ʜɪꜱ ꜰʀɪᴇɴᴅꜱ ᴍᴜꜱᴛ ᴄᴏɴꜰʀᴏɴᴛ ᴛᴇʀʀɪꜰʏɪɴɢ ꜱᴜᴘᴇʀɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴀʟ ꜰᴏʀᴄᴇꜱ ɪɴ ᴏʀᴅᴇʀ ᴛᴏ ɢᴇᴛ ʜɪᴍ ʙᴀᴄᴋ. You can see this includes inciting incident, protagonists, action, and antagonists.
- Create an outline. By writing down the main events and the rising action, climax and falling action you can really see how your script is going to work. You don’t have to just write a list though! Why not make flashcards or use a whiteboard? Have fun with it 😛
- Write a treatment. This is basically like a long mix between an outline and a logline. Sort of. Treatments highlight the most important information about your script and present the story ideas. These documents should include your title, logline, story summary and character description. They are written before actually writing your script, and are a way of testing out ideas before you actually invest time into it.
- Actually write the damn script! I know, I know, the hardest part. Remember things like show don’t tell, and to write in the present tense (screenplays are always written in present tense). Now as for writing scripts there are plenty of templates and also screenwriting software. I’d suggest looking around because some software costs, but if you do a bit of digging there are plenty of good free ones. Obviously, if you’re very serious about this you might want to upgrade but that’s not necessary.
- Edit! Even though writing may be the hardest part, in my opinion this is my least favourite part. That said, it’s important.
Aaand we’re done folks! That was a lot of words. What’s your dream job? Would you ever write a movie or tv show? If you did, what would it be about? Let me know in the comments 💖