I’ve often wondered how to write a screenplay. I was thinking that it’s really a tasking and difficult process. At least up until I came across a blog that puts writing a screenplay in a different perspective. Over at NA Alley, they offer up tips that break down the writing process in a logical manner. Check it out.
Example of a page from a screenplay formatted for feature length film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Screenplay Method (The Magic of Storytelling for all Writers)
As I prepare to wrap up and edit my New Adult novel this year, I’d like to take an inconspicuous neon arrow and point it at something that I find incredibly helpful when writing a novel. I like to call this little something The Screenplay Method. Allow me to explain.
One of my favorite things to do (besides write novels) is write movies. Writing a script/screenplay is pretty different than writing a book. It’s usually no longer than 110 pages, it’s very concise, and it leaves pretty much all of the emotions of the character to an actor. Your job is to put down the story idea and let someone else fly with it. Dialogue and scenes are meant to be as short as possible. Less is more. A screenplay is divided into three acts, as well:
Act One: 25 pages
Act Two: 50 pages
Act Three: 25 pages
Each act basically introduces a new conflict, builds up to the climax and ends in a satisfying resolution. Sound familiar? This is all the same story stuff we do when we write a novel, or a short story – or anything. Beginning, middle end. What is awesome about The Screenplay Method is you can use it to make sure your novel is working well, and that tension and lulls are balanced out perfectly.
When I write a novel, I make a rough outline so I know where my story is headed. After I know this, I take a blank piece of paper (or two), and divide it into squares. In each square I write:
The conflict of my choosing
How does this conflict get resolved?