How do you get started writing a screenplay?
As someone who writes a lot of screenplays, that is something that I hear a lot from anyone who has seen, heard, or read any of my works.
Writing a screenplay, like any story, can be a daunting task. You have sometimes hundreds of blank pages in front of you and you have to fill them – all of them. You have to fill them with a plot, characters, and dialogue – just like any story. However, the most important thing that you need to keep in mind is that people are not going to be reading this script once it’s all typed up, but watching it.
So, whenever someone asks me, how do you get started writing screenplays? I give them two answers:
- Read screenplays.
- Analyze films
Firstly, reading screenplays is important, because it’s going to give you the feel for a cinematic script. Don’t read them like books, however; pay close attention to pacing, camera directions, and character development through action and dialogue.
Secondly, the next time you sit down to watch a movie, analyze it for the camera shots. Notice how the camera angles contribute to the tenseness of a particular scene? Also, pay close attention to the dialogue and how much it reveals about the character to the audience.
That’s my bit of advice for anyone who wants to get started writing screenplays. There’s obviously a lot more than what I listed above that goes into writing a screenplay, but this is a good place to start, especially for beginners.