Welcome! You've found yourself at my comprehensive guide to writing a screenplay. I'll be guiding you through the various lifecycles of a screenplay, from coming up with a concept to getting your script out into the world. If you're considering writing a script, you've come to the right place. Let's get into it!
First things first, what are you going to write about? Pre-writing starts with coming up with ideas. It's time to think about what genre your screenplay will be, and maybe even what structure you're going to use to tell it – three-act structure vs. a five-act structure, or perhaps something else? Take advantage of this time to freely explore your creativity! Let your mind wander as you work on settling on an idea. Read a few screenplays in your genre of choice, or watch TV shows or films that may be similar to your ideas.
When most people think pre-writing, they think outlining. Once you've got your idea solidified, it's time to get serious about mapping out the story's plot points. In this phase, you'll also want to develop your main characters, supporting characters, and what their arcs are going to be. Pre-writing is all about discovering and understanding how your script will function – what makes it work, where the story is going, and how you'll get there. Nail down your understanding of things before you start writing, and your creativity will flow from there.
Now you're ready to get to writing! But screenwriting entails some specific rules and formatting structures to follow. How long should a scene be? How many scenes in an act? What should my screenplay even look like? SoCreate Screenwriting Software is going to make it incredibly easy to jump right into writing without having to go through the guides below (get on the list to be the first to try it), but until then, here are some quick reads to cover all your formatting questions:
As you start to write your script, you'll likely have questions, such as "how do I (insert screenwriting question of your choice)" I know I sure did when I first started writing! You've probably seen tons of movies, so you know all about different conventions, and you'll want to try them out in your screenplay. How do you go about formatting them so that your words translate on screen? Scene descriptions, dialogue, montages, flashbacks, plot twists, and more; below is a list of blogs that will cover how to use some of the most common devices in a screenplay.
What To Do When You Finish Writing
Now you've put in the work. You've learned about formatting, you've played around with structure, and you've nailed the art of assembling scenes, sequences, and acts. You did it! You wrote your first draft. But, you're not quite finished. Now what? First, take a break, come back refreshed, and ready to do some rewriting! Rewriting is an integral part of the process. Read your script with fresh eyes, and have trusted friends and family do the same. Take their notes into consideration, and work on your script until the kinks have been worked out. Think it's complete? Now, you'll want to consider hiring a script consultant to provide professional feedback on your screenplay. Before sending your script out, don't forget to copyright your screenplay to save your future self any legal headaches or trouble with infringement. You want to make sure all your hard work is protected.
Getting Your Script Out Into the World
Now you're ready to put your screenplay out into the world! There are multiple ways to get your script out there if you hope it will one day be produced. You might be interested in entering screenplay competitions to gain some exposure, networking to meet managers and agents interested in working with you, or hey, perhaps you'll even find yourself lucky enough to be pitching your script in a meeting to an executive! Here are some helpful blogs that cover some of the situations you might find yourself in when trying to gain exposure for your screenplay.
Of course, there's always more to know, and SoCreate is here for you! If you have a specific screenwriting question that you can't seem to find an answer for, don't hesitate to post it below, and SoCreate will help you out. The team behind SoCreate Screenwriting Software doesn't want anything to stand in your way when telling your story, so don't let this be your final draft.
For more screenwriting how-to guides and inspiration, follow SoCreate on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. They're continually posting quick one-minute videos to answer all your scriptwriting questions.
From coming up with an idea to releasing your script out into the world, screenwriting is a wonderfully creative and rewarding process, and I hope this guide inspired you to try it out. Happy writing!