Step By Step Manual

Writing a Screenplay Step By Step Instruction

Step 1 Selection the ideal or story

Many writes spend a lot of time contemplating on the type of story they want to tell. In most times the inspiration comes from within the writer. As a writer, you ask yourself several questions; why do you want to tell the story, would the audience enjoy it, how important is it to tell the story, who would be interested in seeing it both domestically and internationally?

I started the treatment in November 2015 and I completed the first draft in December 2015. From early 2015, I knew I wanted to major on domestic violence, thus I started writing the treatment before the first trimester started in February 2016.

In my story Enemy Within Jen and Rob have been married for years. In their early years of marriage, they have had a happy marriage. However, later in the marriage Rob started cheating and gambling. When Jen suspects that something is wrong with her husband and confronts him, it slowly leads to domestic violence. The story is about domestic violence and what Rob’s family will do to get out of the situation. Domestic violence is a major problem in Australia and all over the world. I am very passionate about this subject and I hope that my short film will bring light into it and help people who could be in a similar situation.

Step 2 Treatments

In script writing, it is important to writer the treatment before scripting starts. Some people go straight to scripting and do not mind about writing a treatment. I prefer writing the treatment before writing the first draft. The treatment helps you in developing the story flow from the start to finish. A good story should have a start (which is the beginning of the story), the middle (which is half way through the story) and the end. The end of the story should have a climax that keeps people at the edge of their seats, wondering how the story ends. The treatment allow you to structure the story and develop the main characters and how they shape the story. Basically, in the treatment not all characters are included in the story since a story may have many characters, the treatment allows you to envision the major characters and a few of the supporting roles and how they shape the story from the start, middle to the end.

Step 3 Character Development

After step two is finished, one should think about all the characters in the story – those playing major roles, supporting roles and minor roles. Then, you should write character description for all the characters. This aids the script writing process especially in writing good character description. For instance, the character description below is a basic one, it can have more details but it’s important to remember its work is to help in describing what kind of a character you think your actors should look like and act like.

JESSICA 16-year-old Jessica is a funny, honest schoolgirl with mid-length blonde hair, slim to medium build, blue-green eyes and olive complexion. At 5’5”, her interests vary from indoor rock climbing to horse riding, as well as spending time with her boyfriend, family and friends. Jessica’s adventurous spirit proves she has everything to live for.

Step 4: Script draft

After the treatment and character development steps are completed, one can now start with writing the first draft. The first draft may have many errors, including grammar mistakes, structure and character descriptions but the writer should concentrate on rolling down the story and focus on improving and polishing the draft later. You should find a good software to use in writing the draft. Two major softwares used in scripting are Celtex and Final Draft. I prefer Final Draft because I find it more resourceful. It puts the script in the right format, puts the character names and action heading in capital letters. In addition, the other formats are in the recommended standard script layout. I am still learning how to use all the functions of the software but so far, I find it good. Once the writer had the right software, then writing the script is easy. It is important to write the treatment in word processer like Microsoft Word or Google docs. Below is a screen shot of the script drafts.

Step By Step Manual

Step By Step Manual 1

Step By Step Manual 2

Step 5 Edit Draft Scripts

To come up with the final draft, writers write many drafts of the script. Most scriptwriters recommend writing as many as you need until you have an executable script. In editing the draft script, you check the action headings, the dialogue and number of scenes, the plot and structure of the story among others. In most cases, the script writer normally does the editing, however, if a script has two or more writers, all the writers are involved in the editing process. After a draft is completed, it is important for the script writer to read the draft with the cast to help in finding errors and to find out whether there is something not working with the screenplay.

Step 6 More Draft Before Script Editor Appointed.

To make the script good and tell the story in a captivating way, you may need to write many drafts of the script. In Enemy Within, I did 9 drafts. The first draft was 30 pages and in the process of editing and redrafting the final draft was cut down to 15 pages. I need to do many edits especially to action scenes and dialogue to make sure the story flows well from start to the end. I had many people helping me in editing the drafts – my teacher Liron, family and some of the actors. I did many rehearsals with when choosing the actors and while doing them, I found errors that needed to be corrected to make the script better.

After the writer is sure the draft is completed, then the draft is passed to the editor. My editor was Madelyn Farrugia, she did a good job in helping me fit the errors to make things flow better in my story.

Step 7 Feedback and script Editor appointed

After you are happy with all the draft you should send the final draft to someone for feedback. This could be a friend or family member someone who has not been apart of the writer is better this will help you in decided if you want more changes before you hand it over to a script editor.

After all the feedback has been received even if its negative or positive includes all notes for the changes that needs to be made after the changes I hade made to the script draft from the people who gave me feedback on the script. I will make the changes to the final draft then I will send it to a script editor this person is reasonable to check the grammar and spelling as well as the action and dialogue section to make sure the story flow through.

Final Step in the Concludes Sorry I don’t have much of a references as most of this is from me I did not research anything as I know how to write a good script as I been doing it for many years I learn this from SAE and Previously other Film school prior before I start at the SAE my degree. If you follow step 1 to 7 you should be able to write a good script in final draft or if you don’t have a final draft you can write in a word processor just search the internet for help there are many resourceful sites where you can get help.