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Screenwriting - 5 Tips For Beginners

By Expert Author: Fred Price

Do you constantly dream of writing a screenplay? If you do, you will be delighted to know that it is not as difficult as many people think.
Here are 5 tips to follow when looking to write your first script.
1. The power of the 1st page
Remember that the first page is probably the most important piece of writing in your screenplay. Most of us write a script in the hope that some-one will read it. Page one is your opportunity to grab the reader's attention. If you don't capture their interest right away, they are unlikely to read any further. Don't give the reader too much description at the outset. Instead, get into your characters to draw the reader in.
2. Less is more
Keep your scenes short. Scenes in films tend to be no longer than 2 or 3 minutes in length. You should also ensure that the length of your scenes are not always the same as this can make them predictable and monotonous.
3. Clarity and formatting
Make sure that your script is clearly written; otherwise it will make the story difficult to follow. If the writing is full of errors, the reader will lose interest or doubt your credibility. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar must be avoided otherwise your script will be cast aside. You will be amazed at how many people fail because of this. You can have the most amazing idea, format it properly and spoil it all by not checking the spelling. A spell check takes a few seconds; make sure that you use it.
Remember that you want to get your idea read. If some-one looks at the first page and they see poor formatting, are they likely to continue reading? You can use Microsoft word, but this will not format your script correctly. There are a number of software programs that you can use to do the job properly but the program that I would recommend you look at first is "Final Draft".
4. Watch films to get ideas.
Look at what you enjoy in the film. How can you incorporate this into your ideas? Look at the structure and style that is used. And you don't just learn from good films. Bad films are just as useful when you are looking for screenwriting ideas! Look at what was bad in the film and make sure you don't make the same mistakes.
5. Read other scripts
You can get great ideas by reading other peoples scripts. Look at their structure and style. A good site to visit is simplyscripts. At this site you can download scripts, screenplays and transcripts for current and yet to be released shows and movies. You will also find a useful resource to help you with your project.
I hope you find these ideas useful. Good luck!

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