The following list is not all inclusive. It is just
a starting point for
Ten tips on writing a screenplay:
- Stay within the industry guidelines for
formatting your screenplay. Unless, that is, you want your screenplay to
- Do not dress up your screenplay with pretty
pictures, handwriting or special binding. Keep it plain and simple. You are
trying to sell your ability as a screenwriter, not your skills as a desktop
publisher. See #1 above
- Write as tight and concise as you can. You
are not writing a novel.
- Unless you plan to direct the movie, do not
write in camera angles or music montages. That is the directors job.
- Think of your screenwriting as a business.
Invest in a good screenwriting software program such as Final Draft or Movie
Magic; subscribe to one of the several screenwriting magazines; buy a book
or two each year on screenwriting; attend local screenwriting workshops. If
you do not take your craft seriously, no one else will.
- Write, rewrite, then rewrite some more. Most
top screenwriters will rewrite their screenplays 10-20 times before they are
comfortable trying to pitch it.
- Read as many screenplays as you can. There
are few better ways to get a grasp on how to write a screenplay than reading
the works of others who have been successful.
- Write a one sentence synopsis of your
screenplay (it's called a logline), which acts sort of like a mission statement. If you cannot do that, then you probably need to re-evaluate your
is too broad.
- Adopt a zero tolerance policy for spelling
errors. DO NOT rely solely on your spell checking software as it
won't catch the difference between words such as there's and theirs or it's and its. Proofread it
yourself, then have two or three other people do the same.
- Don't tell what the characters are doing:
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