What Are the Basic Elements of a Screenplay?


Quick Answer

Some basic elements of screenplays include interesting storylines and well-developed characters. Screenplays are unique in terms of the importance of voice in writing them and the structure of the story or the acts of the screenplay. They also have very meticulous formatting requirements.

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Full Answer

Any good piece of fiction needs an innovative story and fresh, well thought-out characters. Screenplays, however, rely much more heavily on dialogue than prose narratives. With the exception of possible narration, there is no description to tell the story. It is up to the characters on the screen and the setting of the story to convey meaning.

The structure of a screenplay is a key element because it provides organization to the actual storytelling on the screen. The distinction between different acts and the scenes within them are crucial to the flow of the screenplay's plot lines. Typically, there are three acts, the first of which acts as an introduction. The second act builds up conflict, while the third, final act is the resolution of that conflict.

Screenplay formatting is very specific. Some screenplay writers choose to use templates, such as those found on TheScriptLab.com, to format screenplays.These templates help the writer easily format a screenplay with proper margins, indentions and headings.

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