5 Quick Tips To Writing A Better Screenplay

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Tip 1: 2D = 1D - 10%...meaning...2nd Draft = 1st draft - 10%

The first step of writing the 2nd draft of your screenplay is to cut out a minimum of 10%. If your 1st Draft is 100 pages then cut out 10 pages worth of scenes and dialogue.

Trust me, your 1st draft is too long but this will make it automatically better.

Once you’ve done that you now how have your starting point for writing your 2nd Draft.

Tip 2: 25% Less

The different between a 2 hour screenplay and a 90 minute screenplay is 25% less!

Less pages, less scenes, less dialogue, less ideas to generate and write.

It’s also less opportunity to be boring, for your story to stray and have weaknesses.

Focus on writing a great 90 minute screenplay with less pages and more quality.

Tip 3: Plan Your Next Session

End each writing session by taking 1 minute to write down what your plan for the next session is and what you want to achieve.

It can be a simple as ‘brainstorm 3 inciting incidences”, ‘develop support character’ or ‘redraft 1 paragraph synopsis’, ‘write 2 scenes’

When you next return to your story you can jump confidently straight into writing without hesitation or delay which effects productivity.

Tip 4: Distinct Character Names

Make sure your character names are distinct and different from each other in both length and letters in your screenplay.

It is confusing and difficult for a reader to keep track of John, Jack and Jane as apposed to John, Tyson and Brigette.

Tip 5: One Sentence Summary

The first 10 pages of your screenplay are crucial to grab the readers interest and attention.  Watch the first 10 minutes of 3 films that you are using as inspiration or influence for your screenplay and write what happens in each scene as 1 sentence. 

For example – Opening scene of Misery

Paul Sheldon finishes typing his novel and celebrates with a glass of champagne and a cigarette.

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David Willing

After working as a writer/director for 20 years and a teacher for 15 years I founded Screenplaymethod.com. Using the 1-Step-A-Day Screenplay Technique I help guide aspiring writers to write their dream Screenplay.

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