Another 5 Quick Tips To Writing A Better Screenplay

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I got such a great response to my article titled “5 quick tips to writing a better Screenplay” I thought I would write 5 more.

Tip 1 : Keep it secret

When you start writing your first screenplay, don’t tell anyone, keep it to yourself and secretly plug away at it. If people know you’re writing they will ask questions and you’ll talk the idea to death before you write it.

Tip 2: When to get feedback

There are 2 optimal times for the earliest feedback on your work. The 1st is the story stage when you’ve completed an outline (7-10 pages is a good length). The 2nd is on your screenplay once you’ve written the 3rd draft. Either option ensures you’ve had time to develop your story or screenplay sufficiently by yourself before getting input.

Tip 3: Films like yours

Make a list of 5 films that are like the one you are writing at the moment. Read at least 3 of their screenplays, not too copy but to understand the type of genre and story you are writing.

Tip 4: Take a walk around the block

Sometimes when you are stuck writing the best thing you can do is take a 5 minute walk around the block. I constantly solve writing problems when I step away from my desk for a 5 -10 minute walk. However don’t use this as a way to avoid writing, clear your mind then get right back into writing.

Tip 5: Break the process down into manageable tasks

Aim to achieve one task for each writing session rather than trying to write multiple aspects of your script. Pick one thing to focus on such as – develop the antagonist, brainstorm ways your climax can play out, rewrite dialogue from 1 scene, write a specific backstory etc. This bit by bit approach makes the often overwhelming task of writing a screenplay manageable.

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David Willing

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

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