View Full Version : How to Write a Script!!!!

Fashion Yaa
21st October 2010, 01:27 AM

Scriptwriting is an artform, and creating art is never easy. Everytime you watch a TV show, watch a film or even play a computer game you are taking in the work of a scriptwriter. First, decide what type of TV writer you wish to become. Are you more passionate about comedy or drama? What type of shows do you enjoy as a viewer? Make a list of your favorite TV shows. Start asking yourself which of those shows would be the most fun to write on. If you’re a CSI or LOST junkie, then becoming a comedy writer is probably not for you. But on the other hand, if you love The Office and popular drama-dies (mix of comedy and drama) like Desperate Housewives or Ugly Betty then becoming a TV comedy writer might be the career path of choice.

TIP: You might be multi-talented and able to write for both comedies and dramas. Eventually, you might have the opportunity to do so. But when you’re first starting out, it’s extremely important that you focus your efforts on one or the other. It comes off as both arrogant and ignorant when a newbie TV writer states they can write in every genre imaginable.

Read scripts. Read lots and lots of scripts. If you can't find any scripts to cut your teeth on, check out Kevin Spacey's TriggerStreet.com, a free Web site to help amateur screenwriters all over the world.

Scenes – Breaking a story down into scenes is an essential component of a script. Writers need to develop engaging scenes that flow well and clearly signal the desired changes in time, mood or different story lines. It is important that this progression can be easily followed by an audience.

Dialogue – Writing good dialogue is a difficult challenge. It must communicate your idea effectively and support the action of a scene. More importantly, it must flow in a natural, unscripted manner.

Format and structure -Dating back to Aristotle, the 3-Act Structure is the basis of all storytelling. There is a beginning, middle and end. Usually there is a catapulting incident which sets up the drama and conflict of the story, and two subsequent turning points ending with a climatic finale. The format in which the script is written is also important. Scripts have to look a certain way and it’s important that your script is presented in a professional manner that makes it look like it comes from an industry ‘insider’. Finding out the script format of the genre and style you’re writing for is crucial before submission – you don’t want your scrip to be discarded because it is written in the wrong format.

Look up books on screen writing at your local library. Many former film makers have written books to help people in just your situation.

Try to acquire a formal education in screen writing. The best college for this purpose is the National Film and Television Institute(NAFTI) in Accra, University of Ghana, Deo-Inc Film Schoo in Kumasi are also good choices.

Take creative writing courses. Screen writing is just as difficult and time-consuming as other forms of writing and is made more difficult because you have had little practice in school.

Examine your favorite movies. Find the scripts for these movies if possible and try to decide what you like about these movies.

Write every day until you have a little over 100 pages of properly formatted material. Show your finished work to a friend.

Edit, edit, re-edit!

Try to get your script optioned. TriggerStreet.com is a good venue for this. Moving to Accra or Kumasi, is also very important. You need to create as many contacts as possible.

Participate in film script writing forums. Ghana Producers sometimes have writing groups that meet often. You can learn tips and trade ideas with fellow writers, and you might get some contacts and interest in your work.

Make friends with jobs at production companies and have them read your script.

Get a lawyer before you agree to anything!

Keep writing, writing, writing!

22nd October 2010, 08:55 AM
Thanks for the tips Yaa. Very handy.