Posted by Nancy Howard

One of the questions screenplay newbies writers face is where to start and how to do it. This is quite normal for beginners and those who are just entering this industry.

You can read hundreds of books, watch many tutorials, but never start writing your screenplay. It often happens because you only get basic guidelines, but when it comes to writing, you realize that you have not received any practical skills.

If it sounds familiar to you and you cannot get off the ground, then this article will share only 5 tips that will allow you to start writing a screenplay and successfully complete it.


5 Tips for Beginner Screenwriters


Top 5 Tips to Write a Screenplay Right

Not sure where to start your journey in scripting? The following tips will help you approach this process not as a beginner but as a professional. Also, take a look at a book like Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. This book will be of great help to all newbies who want to be successful in scripting.

1. Read Screenplays and See the End Result

One of the best exercises for beginners is reading scripts. But here it is important not only to read the screenplay but to watch the film adaptation right away. This will deepen your understanding of this area and it will be much easier for you to write your screenplay. Therefore, if you love watching movies, then take this time as the opportunity to level up your scriptwriting skills.

Find movies with publicly available scripts and analyze them scene by scene. This will provide you with a visualization of how the script is translated into a movie. This exercise will provide real-world results, and it will be your first step towards creating screenplays at a professional level.

Stage 32 has several award-nominated screenplays available to read for free on the blog


5 Tips for Beginner Screenwriters


2. Create a Logline

Logline means creating a short description of your story. By the way, it is desirable to fit this description into one sentence. Why do you need a logline? This is a marketing tool that will be responsible for promoting your screenplay. The logline can be used when presenting your script. Logline is based on:

  • protagonist
  • antagonist
  • target

Add appropriate character adjectives to make your logline attractive. For example, "a hyperactive girl and her calm best friend must find her little puppy". If you remove adjectives, then the logline will not be interesting and dry.

This is a very primitive example, but it reflects well what we are talking about. Therefore, you can write a sentence according to the scheme, and then make it bright with the necessary adjectives.

See more logline examples on Stage 32 and post your to get feedback from the community. 

3. Make a Plan and Structure

To easily create a screenplay, you need to cope with one of the most difficult stages in script creation. It is about creating a structure and plan for your future scenario.

The first thing to think about is the structure. At this point, you need to think about the events that will take place in each of your screenplay acts. For example, the second act is usually given 50% of the time, and the first and third get 25% each. Therefore, these points should be very carefully thought out and then proceed to create a plan.

As for the plan, there are no clear requirements. Remember that the plan is your starting point for creating the script and you create it for yourself. Therefore, if you want, you can add dialogs and whatever you think is necessary.


5 Tips for Beginner Screenwriters


4. Write Your Draft Fast

Many newbies make the mistake of thinking your first draft should be perfect. You shouldn't try to make the perfect version of the screenplay from the first attempt. The more carefully you think through each stage and each scene, the worse you will get the final result. But how should you write a draft in this case?

  • Catch inspiration and write non-stop without wasting time creating beautiful sentences or detailing moments if they didn't immediately occur to you.
  • No editing is required.
  • If you get stuck and don't know what to write next, then give yourself some time or proceed with the ideas and dialogs that appear in your mind immediately.

After you are ready with the first draft, relax, get distracted by something else, have a coffee, or take a walk. During this time, your brain will rest and you will be able to catch new ideas. After that, you can go back to writing your draft. Also, try not to drag out this process and complete the draft within 5 days maximum.


5 Tips for Beginner Screenwriters


5. Get Started with Editing in Three Steps

The process of editing scripts can be equated with editing books. Where to start this process?

  1. Read your draft, but don't start editing. The most you can do is leave some notes. This will be the first step in editing your script.
  2. The next stage of editing involves a more complex process. Here you need to pay attention to the structure, fill in all the holes, start detailing the characters, and you may even be faced with a complete rewriting of some scenes. At this stage, it is important to pay attention to the scenes and characters that are not moving your story forward, and if you get rid of those characters or scenes, the overall picture will not be affected.
  3. The last stage of editing includes the so-called polishing of the text and screenplay. Here you can play with speech patterns, make dialogues brighter, and so on. If you are worried about grammar, then you can use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway App to optimize your text and get rid of mistakes. Also, at this stage, do not forget about the format and requirements for the script. Lastly, getting feedback from fellow writers can be really helpful

The editing process may not be the fastest. By the way, there is no need to complete all three steps in one day. You can devote a day to each stage so that you can approach this process consciously and never go back to the stages. It is better to spend a little more time but do the job well than to start all the editing processes all over again.

The Bottom Line

Now you have a mini-instruction that will help beginners create a screenplay at the professional level. Following the above tips, you can not only get off the ground but also complete your scenario. Do not procrastinate and start working on your screenplay now, since the earlier you make the first step, the sooner you will be able to create top-notch scripts.


About Nancy P. Howard

5 Tips for Beginner Screenwriters

Nancy P. Howard has been working as an editor at the writing service where everyone can find the expert who will write my dissertation for me or pay someone to write my paper. She is also a professional writer in such topics as blogging, IT and marketing. She loves travelling, photography and is always welcome to meet new people.


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