Scriptwriting or screenwriting, whatever you call it, is a term that is used for the written work which show the skills of the writer. It is about writing a story or a fiction for any work that is yet to film and publish. When a story writer writes for some drama, movie, sitcom or play, he is actually going through the process of screenplay. Hence, scriptwriting is a very famous field from copywriting field. This tutorial will tell you about the process of scriptwriting.
What is script writing?
Screenwriting or scriptwriting is a process of developing a story or a written piece that can be practiced and then filmed. There are a lot of genres out there which have to be scripted before playing them. For instance, if you are doing an interview with a famous personality, this interview is not done on sudden basis but the entire process of interview is scripted. Such scripts are written by writers.
Sometime, such writers ask script copywriters to write and get paid for the work. In that case, freelancers work on screenplay or script, write it and then sell the copyrights to the person who is paying for it. In freelancing field, scriptwriting is a very successful field and hence, that’s the why it is included here on this platform.
Steps of writing a script:
A script or a screenplay has few excessively important steps to follow. Almost all types of fictions and screenplays follow the same pattern of writing. This written pattern has been developed by Greek writers but it is still used in modern work as well.
These steps of writing script are as followed
- First select the theme and genre
- Then develop the pattern
Exposition -> Rising Action-> Climax ->Falling action -> Catastrophe -> Aftermath
- Develop main plot and subplot
- Form characters
- Write dialogues
- Polish your draft version
- Develop final version
These steps seem simple but when we start working on each step, it takes a lot of time.
Four elements of the script:
Every type of screenplay or script has to pass through these four elements which show the mastery of writer and how he develops interest of his audience. The first part is exposition where the writer has to reveal his characters and main story. The main plot is showed at this level.
The next element is rising action where the writer has to proceed the characters to the main action and this gradual proceeding is done with mixing some genre related elements. Once the rising action is complete, the climax reaches where the main happening occurs and leads to falling action. Once the entire process of climax and falling action completes, the ending is written in the form of catastrophe or happy ending that further leads to aftermath or after action. This entire process is difficult to understand unless you have a complete example of how everything happens.
Plot and subplot:
When we talk about plots and subplots, it stands for the main scenes and surrounding scenes. The mastery of a writer very much depends upon how he develops the main plot and then subplot. The main plot revolves around main characters whereas the subplot revolves around the main plot. When we talk about main plot, it can be scenes that are depicted with main characters and all the main happenings but when we talk about subplot, it is about how it helps the main plot or main scenes to enhance its beauty.
Suppose, you are writing a suspense story and the main plot is about death of a husband and wife. The investigation officer will be the main character and part of the main plot will be husband, wife, killer and the investigation officer. Other people like paying guests in of husband and wife, their servants, neighbors and some friends. All the scenes on these secondary characters will be written to enhance the suspense element of the play. So, writing excellent subplots is also necessary to become a great writer.
Before you write an actual script, you have to create draft map of your primary scenes and secondary scenes. the scene depiction is done in a sequence which is developed when you develop your plot and subplot. Hence, plot and subplot is a complex process and a proper training is required before you actually start working on any script.
If we apply the same technique on some interview, the main plot can be a main topic such as economical instability of a country but to enhance the strength of the topic, you will have to add some other elements like poverty ratio, unemployment and growing population in order to support your main plot.
Step by step guide for story development:
When you start writing a story, you must have an idea in your mind first. This idea is formed as theme of your work. Second thing you have to select is genre of the work. So let’s begin with step by step tutorial to how to write a script or screenplay
- Select genre of your work and develop one sentence draft theme
- Form main plot and subplot
- Select primary characters and secondary characters
- Develop draft scenes and number all the scenes according to the plot and subplot
- Specify time and place
- Reshape characters
- Develop dialogues
- Merge all the scenes in a way that it seems smoother and in a complete flow
- Rework on your draft version
- Present your final version
So in this way you can develop a top notch screenplay.