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Writing Treatments That Sell

By Author: Walter Stewart
Total Articles: 37

Writing treatments that sell is the goal of most treatment screenwriters. In the entire process of the evolution of an idea in your head till the time when the real is transformed into reel, the importance of a treatment cannot be overemphasized. Film makers are inundated with dozens of scripts and treatments every day. What is it that turn them from being good to being great? What is it that makes one script sell and another one to be either rejected or never heard of again? The answer lies in the way a treatment is created and presented.
Writing treatments that sell is a daunting task for most, and it requires skill as well as a strong desire to excel. You have to dare to be different, way ahead of others in this highly competitive business. The idea is to stay informed about what the audience wants at that point of time, what others are working on and just take the necessary step well in advance.
- The most crucial element is to get formally trained. Proper credentials are a passport to destinations you want to reach.
- Get relevant experience in writing treatments that sell. This can be done either by serving as an apprentice under an executive who is required to read many treatments per day. You can go through them too and imbibe the expertise gradually. Another way is to trudge from one library to another that is dedicated to creative writing. Over here you can get hold of treatments that did well in the past and study their style, pace, language, format and length.
- Remember, treatments are the first written document that you will be submitting for approval after having floored the film makers during the stage of pitching your idea. This automatically means that greater care has to be given to writing treatments that sell. Write, re-write, edit and re-edit umpteen times but ensure that you do not sacrifice quality for haste. Once ready, read out the script to a friend and see if he is impressed and clearly understands the entire story.
- Lexically your work must be perfect. Each word should be such that it seemingly cannot be replaced by another. Words that generate a lucid image in the minds of the readers can do wonders for your creative composition. Contemplate deeply on the appropriateness of every word before fitting it into the treatment.
Have a forceful beginning, an interesting middle and a sizzling end. Introduce the catch of the story within the first couple of pages so that the reader is goaded on to read till he reaches the end.
While writing treatments that sell, bear in mind that you are to divide it into paragraphs, use the present tense throughout and keep the length to a bare minimum. The shorter the better, for nobody has the time to read long treatments. Besides, when you limit the length, you will automatically use the most tantalizing style to convey what you intend. This again will act as a natural garnishing on your creative overtures.

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