What Are Some General Guidelines for Writing Movie Scripts?

What Are Some General Guidelines for Writing Movie Scripts?

When writing a screenplay, make sure to sketch out integral elements such as personality traits, character relationships and plot details. Consider how the characters interact and how the story evolves.

After settling on the details of both characters and plots, start with a basic flow of your narrative with a focus on the conflict in the story. Consider the script length; each written page is equivalent to about one minute of screen time. Typically, dramas are longer in duration, while comedies are shorter.

As a novice writer, it's recommended to write a shorter script since long screenplays from beginning writers are less likely to be considered for film production. Screenplays are written in three acts that operate independently from each other, but work in unison to provide the full effect of the storyline.

The first act introduces the characters and sets the tone of the story. This part explores the conflict and the protagonist's objective in relations to the conflict. The second act deals with the obstacles and the protagonist's resolution of the conflict, while the third act contains the plot twist and the final confrontation of the conflict.

The screenplay is typically formatted on 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch sheets that are 3-hole punched with top and bottom margins that are set between a half inch and one inch. The left margin is set from 1.2 to 1.6 inches and the right margin is set between a half to one inch. Screenplays are written in size 12 Courier font.