My first step to Script Writing is…

Knowing what a Script looks like.
I kid you not, I don’t have much of an idea as to how to write a movie script. It’s not something I really considered doing. Ever. So, when I decided to start to prepare myself for April’s Script Frenzy I dove onto the internet (gotta love Google) and started to see what I was getting myself into. Writing a story is easy to an extent because we all grew up reading books and understanding its basic lay out. Telling a story, or rather narrating a story is also second nature because it’s a talent so ingrained in our history. Writing a movie script on the other hand isn’t.
So, I’ve been surfing around and came up with a few good tips:
1) Read movie scripts – To my surprise there are quite a few websites where you can go and download movie scripts for reading. Here’s a few:
a. http://www.script-o-rama.com/snazzy/dircut.html
b. http://www.dailyscript.com/
c. http://www.simplyscripts.com/
d. http://www.imsdb.com/
e. http://movies.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Free_Movie_Scripts_Online
2) Study the format – This might well discourage me from doing it completely, lol. I don’t get it, and the problem is that I struggle thinking in the box that the formatting puts you in. But, that’s my personal opinion and my personal fear coming in that I might not succeed. For this task – I found help at Script Frenzy directly. They give you a very nice lay out of a script here:
a. http://www.scriptfrenzy.org/eng/howtoformatascreenplay
3) Dialogue, Drama and Action is the key. I think that you can get away with good action and mediocre drama and good dialogue but mediocre action but I don’t think that you can get away with both being bad. This is if you’re writing for Hollywood anyway. I think the biggest challenge with a script (for me) is that you don’t have the character’s thoughts to guide you. So, you need to be very aware of body language, reaction and things like that. Unless you do something like the first season of Allie Macbeal where you can hear her thoughts. Hmm. Something to play with.
4) Have fun. That’s what it all comes down to. Just enjoy it.
So, now I’m reading the script to Jurassic Park, trying to put the formatting and style into perspective. The great thing is that, lol, if I don’t feel prepared by April, I don’t have to do it.
Simple as that. 😉
Alyss

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2 thoughts on “My first step to Script Writing is…

  1. Mr. Paradigm September 28, 2010 / 3:18 pm

    I know it’s been a good while since you posted this, but I recommend a site called scripped.com.

    It’s a website designed with script-writing software that you use right on the site. The best thing is, as you write it, it formats it mostly for you. All you have to do is tell it what part you’re writing. There’s a menu where you choose “Act, Scene Heading, Action, Character, Dialogue, Parenthetical,” etc. Just pick the one you’re using at a given point, and it formats it for you.

    I’d definitely look into it if you plan to write scripts and screenplays. It even has nine or so different option for formatting style you can choose when you start a new script, depending on whether it’s a movie, series, etc.

    It’s what I use to write all of my scripts.

    • Alyssa September 29, 2010 / 9:11 pm

      Good day and thank you for commmenting eve though it’s been a while since April. 🙂
      I had a look at scripped and will keep it in mind for next year’s April. I used Celtx for this year’s venture and although I did like it, there were one or two instability issues that I encountered (and had to panic over because they potentially threatened my script).
      Alas, I have also discovered during April that I’m not really a script writer. I would like to be, but I’m a novelist at heart and my script was, quite frankly, boring. 🙂
      A salute to someone who can. 🙂 *salute*
      Thank you for stopping by and for the advice, it’s much appreciated. 🙂

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