Learn How To Master The Art Of Screenwriting During The Lockdown

Do you have a story in your mind that you feel will make a good movie? Having a story is one thing, but putting it in a screenplay format is an entirely different endeavor.

Scripts are the backbone of every movie. A good text is necessary to make an excellent movie or series. If you have been toying with the idea of learning screenwriting, then the current lockdown may be a blessing in disguise for you. 

Since you cannot step out to spend time with friends during the lockdown, why not use this extra time to learn the art of screenwriting? Here are a few pointers to help you get started with this journey.

Read Other Scripts

When you read a book, you develop a sense of what is expected from the book. However, watching a movie doesn’t provide much of an insight into writing a screenplay. For that, you must read screenplays. 

writing

There are many online repositories of movie scripts from where you can download the scripts of the latest movies. Read at least ten scripts before you start your screenwriting journey. 

You need to comprehend the intricacies of the script, and for this, you need to do a thorough reading. Make a note of how the dialogues are delivered, the character introductions, how the actions are described, and how the scenes are described. 

Reading these scripts will give you a basic understanding of how to go about writing your movie script.  

Use Best Screenwriting Software

Every creative process is different. A movie, a book, a series, and a blog post may all involve writing, but their similarities end there. Each of these is consumed by the audience in an entirely different manner. 

You can include a person’s internal monologue in a book, whereas you don’t get that luxury in a movie or series. A blog post only needs to be around a thousand words, whereas a screenplay may be anywhere from 70 to 200 pages. The format for writing each also differs widely. 

Using generic writing software to write your screenplay will involve a lot of formatting. The formatting process will be cumbersome and will distract you from the actual writing process.

Instead, you can use a book writing software that provides predefined templates for screenplays. They will even provide genre-specific templates that reduce the burden on your shoulders and offers an optimized working space. 

Take Online Courses

An online scriptwriting course is another excellent way to develop your skills. You can utilize this lockdown period to immerse yourself into various online courses that will introduce you to the intricacies of writing a  movie script. 

One of the advantages of the current situation is that many prestigious universities are offering online courses at a nominal rate. You can use this opportunity to upskill yourself.  

If you have dreamt of learning the art of screenwriting from some of the leading film schools but lack of time and resources stopped you, then you must make use of this opportunity to the maximum.   

Is it important to take a course? Aren’t there those who have written scripts without any formal education in the domain? Of course, there are! But without a formal education, it will take several trial and errors to the process right. 

When you have proper knowledge, you will be able to approach the screenwriting process systematically and confidently. It will also produce an optimal result.      

Create a Blueprint

A blueprint or an outline is the first step to writing your screenplay. The plan lays out how the story must play out. It won’t get into the specifics or even have the dialogues. However, it will give a sense of how the story must proceed. 

You must start with a step. As you delve deeper into each scene, you may end up losing sight of the big picture. With a pre-decided outline on hand, you won’t stray from the set path. 

The blueprint will reel you back into the story and keep you focussed. It makes the writing process more systematic. 

Understand Your Genre

Is your story a romance, thriller, mystery, or action? Each of these has a different style. 

While you need to pay extra attention to dialogues in a romance, the focus shifts more towards the plot twists in a thriller. An action movie will require you to go into the details of the action sequences. 

Understanding the needs of your genre will aid the writing process. If your story is a mix of genres, you need to understand both to write a useful and engaging screenplay.   

Dialogues to Remember

What do you remember about the most iconic movies? Their dialogues, of course! Dialogues can immortalize a film. Viewers will keep quoting movie dialogues in their day to day lives. Even if the dialogue does not become a punchline, the dialogues have a significant impact on the viewer’s experience. 

Crisp dialogues make the movie entertaining, whereas cliched dialogues or long dialogues make the movie boring. Mastering the art of writing dialogues will take some practice. It is truly one of those areas where practice makes perfect.     

One way to hone your dialogue writing skills is to write dialogues for your day to day experiences. Take a true incident and try to write it as a scene. You should cut out the small talk and directly enter the crux of the conversation. Doing this regularly will help you in your screenwriting.  

Think About the Camera

While playing a scene out in your head, you may often forget to consider the technicalities of shooting the scene. While writing every scene, you must think about the camera placement and how the scene might look from a different angle. 

shooting scene

Camera angles are one of those things that you often forget about while writing, but that can radically change the effect of the scene.  

Become a Scriptwriter During the Lockdown

Writing a script is not an easy process. But with proper practice, you can get great at it. Whether you are practicing or writing the actual script, the best screenwriting software is an absolute must. 

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