Before your favorite movie, show or play became a screenplay, it was once just an idea and imagination running through an individual’s brain. A script is written to represent the actions, movement, dialogue, and expression of each character and event in a screenplay. In this article, we are going to talk about 3 script writing techniques that can help you learn how to draft a movie or play and eventually mold it into a screenplay.
Upon writing a script, one can now express the flow and story of a movie to their audience visually. Scriptwriting for a feature-length film can is usually a challenging and time-consuming task that needs one to be experienced and knowledgeable about the task.
This means that with familiarity and mastery in this skill, you can easily come up with mind-blowing ideas and make them outstanding masterpieces in the modern film production industry. In scriptwriting, many learners and beginners tend to go through a hard time when drafting a dialogue, building characters, and even expressing actions in the story or movie.
Hereby, we’re going to give you a few techniques and guidelines that will help you master scriptwriting regardless of whether you’re drafting a short film or even a feature film.
3 Script Writing Techniques
- Creation of your logline and outline
We’ll start with writing a logline for your script. The logline poses as an answer to the plot’s key question, ‘What’s the story about? ‘However, the logline should not necessarily be presented as a question. You can revise this logline as you go on with the scriptwriting.
Therefore, you’ll realize that your logline plays a very key role in dictating how your script turns out especially when you delve deeper into your draft. To create your logline, there are a few explanations you need to make to come up with the perfect logline.
The logline will explain how the protagonist is involved in your story, the conflict arising that will challenge and dispute the script’s main character. Lastly, your logline should explain your story’s suspense, theme, and uniqueness.
All this should be compressed and expressed in a single 50-word sentence. Avoid including the name of your character in the logline and rather explain their traits.
- The outline (through line)
After figuring out the logline for your script, it’s about time you begin coming up with the key events of your story and place them in order. You can do this traditionally using one to two pages or use index cards/sticky notes if you have adequate space in your workspace.
You’re recommended to post your outline cards on the wall for easy reviewing and manipulation. Every event should be outlined using one short sentence such as, ‘Tommy becomes sick for two days. Hereby, the logline created before will be used to dictate consecutive events thus shaping your storyline significantly.
- Building a treatment
At this point, you’ll start seeing the key interests in your script thus majoring on them to see whether the whole story makes sense and turns out as you want. The treatment acts as a spiced-up and more detailed version of your outline. Inventing an amazing treatment is a jackpot when drafting your script.
It is therefore considered a ‘cheat code’ tip when mastering these 3 scriptwriting techniques. This is where the creative part of your brain comes to work since you’re going to decide the pillar interests and highlights of your whole story theme.
During treatment, the scriptwriter visualizes the main interests of the film and most importantly; comes up with unique characters and introduces them to the script. Take your time when compiling your treatment since you have the freedom to alter the script and create characters as much as you like.
- Writing formatting and editing screenplay
As soon as you feel that your treatment is ready for actualization, you’ll start by putting it all down on paper. This is one very challenging but very vital technique when scriptwriting. You’ll have to show and express how the storyline goes using the right words and dialogue.
Remember to write the script in the present tense and consider following the formatting rules in scriptwriting. Try to express your ideas naturally first then the structuring and formatting will follow.
When it comes to script formatting, you can read and check out the formatting techniques on screenwriting templates posted online. Carefully do your formatting to achieve a perfect final copy that you’ve been working on from the start.
One important step that no one should ever leave out is the editing part. For a clean and perfect final draft, you’ll have to go through the script again to make some event corrections or even add some spice to the draft as you read through.
The main goal of editing your text is to make sure clarity is enhanced throughout the script. Try reading it from a new reader’s perspective to get objectives and note any possible mistakes. If you’re not getting a different perspective or view about the script, you can ask for help from a trusted reader who will give you new advice and suggestions about your story.
We recommend you have your highlighter pen in hand during the editing process to identify and mark any sections that might require clarification and improvement.
3 Script Writing Techniques – Final Word
The editing process will help you identify overwritten text and sloppy descriptions which might introduce vagueness into your script. Being the final step in our scriptwriting process, we believe you’ve mastered all the 3 script writing techniques we’ve described in this post.
Follow each step and give it maximum attention to avoid making the whole task challenging and unfruitful. As we all know, good things take time! Therefore, don’t be worried if your script might be taking too long to be complete and ready.
Sometimes you’ll have to rewrite the whole script all over again to achieve a certain flow, theme, and even imagery in the whole script. Every scriptwriter should be ready to fold their sleeves and take on whatever they must face to come up with the ‘perfect script’ for their story or movie.
It might take days, weeks, months, and even more; but make sure you don’t take your eyes off the price.