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Screenwriting Made Simple

By Expert Author: Russell Foster

Screenwriting is a hugely competitive, multi-million dollar industry and the rewards both personally and financially are enormous for those who succeed. But before we see our name on the big screen or earn a cent, a lot of effort is required, but if you've made your mind up to write a screenplay, you'll be prepared for that. Screenwriting doesn't have to be necessarily difficult. It can be made a lot simpler but how?
Firstly by investing in a formatting software programme! By doing so, you can forget about working out margins, pagination, what colour to use for what character etc and concentrate on your writing.
An average screenplay is about 120 pages in length and the people who will eventually read your script will not waste their valuable time doing so if it doesn't meet the industry requirements, and as your main objective is to ensure they do keep turning the pages, it has to be formatted properly. There's no avoiding this and could mean your success or failure.
There is a wide variety of software programs to choose from, most offering a 30 Day Back Money Guarantee or in some cases 60 Days - it's a win/win situation for you.
Below are just a few of the benefits of formatting programs (and some can apply to stage play and TV writing also):-
It will format and paginate your pages. You won't have to worry about the correct margins, spacing etc;
It will check your work for spelling and grammar mistakes;
It will keep ideas to hand while writing;
It will, in a lot of cases, have hundreds of templates to choose from;
Speech control - which enables you to have your script read back to you - an invaluable tool;
Screen view - enabling you to reorganise ideas;
It will print revisions in colour so you'll know exactly which draft you are working on;
It will learn the names of your characters;
Organize ideas and feedback about sections of your script which will hold your ideas, suggestions or scene fragments that you've cut but don't want to discard and use script notes to provide feedback on a particular scene or print as a report for easy reference when reviewing your work.
Register your work with the Writers Guild of America in order to protect it and much more.
Read reviews of the different programs and see what's being said about them and by whom before deciding on one.
Of course no formatting program will give you ideas or write your script for you but we are fortunate to be living at a time when information can be obtained just by the click of a mouse, so do your research. Read as many scripts as you can and decide why you liked/disliked them and what would you have done to improve them; study dialogue, and get to know your characters inside and out, knowing their strengths, weaknesses, habits etc (click on the link below to obtain a free e-book written by someone who is in the screenwriting business and has a huge amount of invaluable advice to offer). Read interviews with successful screenwriters to glean tips from them. You are probably willing to give up your week-ends, holidays etc in order to get your script completed so arm yourself with as much knowledge on every aspect of screenwriting as you can and you'll have a greater chance of success.

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