Screenwriting Blog

Movie Outline Screenwriting Blog

A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Comedy

Filed under: How to Write a Script by admin @ 3:09 pm on February 18, 2011

Successfully transferring your sense of humor from speech and actions to script can be one of the more difficult skills to develop when pursuing a career in screenwriting. The key to comedy is timing, and anyone who’s ever tried to tell a joke or amusing anecdote knows that if you drift off on a tangent or deliver the punch line too early, you’re likely to lose your audience’s interest and the moment can pass without so much as a smile – not so good if you’re trying to write a hit sitcom!

The pressure to get it right is doubled when screenwriting comedy. Agents, producers and creative executives can be unforgiving, so you need to show them you can be funny while telling a coherent story right from the first page.

A major sticking point for most unsuccessful comedies is the plot. Regardless of how many jokes you cram into a scene, without a compelling storyline it’s highly unlikely that the person reading will make it to the end. Laughs can be added later as long as there is a strong story to build on.

It can also be a good idea to find at least one other person to write with, or at least bounce ideas around with. The combination of a technically skilled, conscientious writer, and an off the wall joker, with a gift for one-liners, can reap dividends when screenwriting comedy.

Finally, you need to discover your genre. Are you better suited to writing a laugh-a-minute sitcom, such as 30 Rock, Seinfeld or Frasier, or is your style more drama but with the occasional laugh, similar to shows like Glee and Entourage? Figuring this out will help you to learn how hard and often you need to push a joke in order to get the comedy blend just right.

For newcomers to the industry, it’s always worthwhile investing in screenplay writing software. Knowing how the write a script properly can make life so much easier, especially for inexperienced comedy writers. Screenwriting can be a challenging process, and using screenplay writing software to help structure your plot can make it much easier to work out where best to place your biggest laughs.

Getting Started on a Screenplay

Filed under: Screenwriting by admin @ 3:03 pm on February 7, 2011

Writing a script is a dream for many people. You might be an excellent writer who has come up with an innovative concept, but have no idea where to start. With research and practice it’s possible to learn how to write a professional-quality script. Here are some tips to get you started:

- Before putting pen to paper, you should read as many screenplays as you possibly can. This will help you to pick up basic screenwriting skills, such as how scripts are constructed, the kind of language that is used and how directions are written. As a general rule, you should only include as much detail as is absolutely necessary.

- Read every book and reliable online resource on screenwriting techniques you can find. Books are particularly useful for learning how other screenwriters work and what the nuances of a successful screenplay are. Make sure that when looking online for information, you opt for advice from reputable sources as otherwise you may find bad advice which can hinder your progress. We have a great resource section packed with useful articles to help you along your screenwriting journey. These articles and other advice could also give you the inspiration and belief needed to take the first steps on your screenwriting journey.

- Before beginning work on your final script, you should learn how to write an outline of your story, as this will make it easier to keep the dialogue flowing naturally throughout. By taking time to map out the direction of your plot, you’ll find it easier to write a script that is exciting, fast paced and interesting.

- Invest in some screenwriting software. Producers and agents are unlikely to even look at a screenplay that isn’t correctly formatted, and screenplay writing software will help you get it right. Screenwriting software will also aid your attempts at producing original dialogue and developing three-dimensional characters.

Turn Your Idea into a Saleable Script

Filed under: Screenwriting by admin @ 4:00 pm on January 27, 2011

If you want to learn how to write a script, you are probably already aware that you will be up against stiff competition in the writing industry. However, while there may be thousands of aspiring screenwriters out there, it does not mean your screenplay won’t stand out from the crowd. There are numerous things you can do to ensure you prove to industry experts that you have the talent and professionalism to have your screenplay produced.

Start by reading screenplays. As you do this, you will find that you become more familiar with the format and language of professional screenplays. Screenplays are always written in the present tense, unlike novels and short stories, which can use a variety of tenses. They also use sparse description to create an image as economically as possible.

To make it in the movie business, you have to use proper screenplay formatting. If you want your script to look its best, use screenwriting software to format your scripts. This will be a vital investment which could give your career a major boost. Readers in the industry are used to screenplays which follow an accepted format and layout.

Another technique many screenwriters use is to outline your stories. Script writing software allows you to do this in an easily organized manner, instead of the traditional index card method. Outlining will let you play around with your scenes, and find the best timeline for your story. Then you can use script writing software to develop it further, and craft a professional screenplay.

Don’t Settle For The Obvious

Filed under: Screenwriting by Dan @ 5:20 pm on January 21, 2011

All too often writers, especially experienced writers, get lazy. They get comfortable in their own writing shoes with their tried and tested screenwriting habits and while this makes knocking out a screenplay a hell of a lot easier than it was when they first started writing.. back in the day, it also sometimes leads to stale material and obvious choices, whether that be for dialogue, characterizations or plot.

So the next time you sit down in front of your computer, take this advice, if you want to know how to write a script: Don’t take the obvious option! If it’s easy to come up with then chances are maybe the audience would have expected it too.

For dialogue, acknowledge your initial idea for a witty retort then step back, chew it over and play around with a few more by turning the dialogue on its head and experimenting with something you would not normally write or that particular character would not typically say. Even if it doesn’t work at first the process will get you thinking and open your mind up to new ideas to make the dialogue fresh and less “on the nose”.

And for plots, instead of surging from one chase scene to an action-packed confrontation between the hero and villain, why not insert something unexpected into the mix? Or create a surprising chain of events and progression of scenes that keep ‘em guessing! In short: lead the audience down a familiar route and then turn your story 180 degrees. If you do this your script will be less predictable and it will leave your audience begging for more…

Why You Need Screenwriting Software

Filed under: How to Write a Script by admin @ 3:35 pm on January 18, 2011

Getting to the top in the movie world can be tough, but you can rest assured that all your hard work will be worth it once your screenplay is in the hands of the right people. However, writers should strive to learn more, read more and take all the help they can get along the way in order to develop their skills and acheive their dream.

If you are a scriptwriter, there are plenty of things you can do to make life a little easier. You may want to look into working methods of top scriptwriters, which may give you some ideas to improve your work. You may also want to try screenwriting software, which is used by many successful professional scriptwriters.

Right from your first try, scriptwriting software can make a huge difference. Why? Its simple. If you fail to send your scripts in the recognized format, you might be finished before you even start. All that hard work will be lost. There is a fair chance that you already know how to write a script, but this may not be enough if you want to make it in the movie world.

When you combine your natural talent for scriptwriting with an amazing screenplay writing software packages, you will stand a better chance of getting your script onto the right Hollywood desk. You may want to look into some of the working methods of top writers here.

Write the Movie You Want to See

Filed under: Screenwriting by admin @ 3:21 pm on January 8, 2011

If you want to know how to write a script, you should have a firm idea of what it is you actually want to achieve. When it comes to writing, you should aim to create stories which you would want to read yourself. For example, one reason J.R.R Tolkien wrote was because nobody else was writing stories that he wanted to read.

While he specialized in short stories and novels, you could apply the same technique to screenwriting. Perhaps you have visualized a scene or heard a line of dialogue you know would work beautifully on screen. Or maybe you have a theme or setting you would love to see at the heart of a film, which no-one else has tried. In this case, why not write it yourself?

No doubt you will have watched movies in the past and told yourself that you could do better. Screenwriting can be easy to talk about but is difficult to do well. Whatever you do, you need to be sure that you are writing something you believe is worth your time. If you do not, then why should anyone else believe it is worth any of theirs?

As with most creative endeavors, you will learn how to write a script better the more you do. Of course, it will take a lot of time and effort to create a script which is up to scratch, but screenwriting should be something you enjoy. And the better you get, the more rewarding it will be.

How to Write a Script

Filed under: How to Write a Script by admin @ 11:31 am on December 26, 2010

Instruction Manual

Every movie needs a script. A script is the instruction manual for any movie, as it details every visual and aural aspect of a story. Because so many people are involved in the production of a movie, a script must be presented in a certain format so that everyone will understand it. A correctly formatted script allows the director, cast and crew to all be on the same page when they interpret (and later re-interpret) the initial premise of a story.

Looking Professional

It is quite possible for any aspiring writer with a half decent story to learn how to write a script. Commercial screenwriting software makes it possible for a screenplay to be converted into the all-important format which the studios demand. This is of particular benefit to up and coming screenwriters as any screenplay they submit will immediately look professional. Also, the time saved can be put to good use by learning more about the craft of screenwriting.

Learning the Craft

Successful screenwriters do not tell the audience a story; they show them. What is written is not what the audience will read, but what they will see and hear. A writer may know exactly what their characters are thinking and feeling, but the essence of good screenwriting is in having the ability to convey it on the big screen. As long as a script includes all the pictures, sounds, and dialogue needed to show a story, then it will be on the right road.

Writing Scripts & Getting Ahead

Filed under: Screenplay Writing Software by admin @ 12:23 pm on December 14, 2010

Writing screenplays for major Hollywood studios is the ultimate ambition for many frustrated script writers. But where do you start?

Screenwriting can be a complicated business but thankfully there are products available on the market which can prove invaluable. One of the most effective and widely accepted tools for aspiring screenwriters is script writing software.

Script writing software allows writers to cut and move scenes within a user-friendly interface to help determine the ideal flow of their story. Organizing a screenplay in this way can be very beneficial to writers, as it can help them discover that extra magic needed to take their story to a higher level. Similarly, it can help a writer see that a scene they thought was indispensible is in fact not needed.

Screen writing software also formats screenplays to comply with the accepted industry standards which the readers in Hollywood insist upon. This is very important as the decision makers in the industry will only read screenplays which are in this authorized format and layout. Should a script not even meet this most basic requirement then it will not be considered, no matter how good it might be.

Screenwriting is a competitive business, and becoming an established script writer is no easy task. However, once a writer has the basics down and can correctly structure and format scripts, they will be that much closer to Hollywood success.

Can Software Guarantee Script Writing Success?

Filed under: Screenplay Writing Software by admin @ 9:17 am on December 5, 2010

Many aspiring script writers and established screenwriters within the movie industry now use screenwriting software to help them write great scripts. Although screenwriting software can be an enormously valuable tool to help finalize a script, it cannot generate a story from nothing or guarantee that a script will be good enough to be fast-tracked for production.

Sadly, there are some screenwriters who believe that using specialized software will guarantee them Hollywood success. Some writers expect screenwriting software to create a story for them. It cannot do this, but it can provide you with the perfect formatting tools to make the best of a great script. You will need to supply your own believable characters, engaging dialogue, and a well-written plot.

Script writing software is designed to help writers flesh out good ideas and construct them into a professional piece of work. Although this alone is not guaranteed to turn a script into a blockbuster movie, it will certainly ensure that those receive your script will see that you are serious about the work.

One of the most affordable and effective screenwriting software options now available on the market is Movie Outline. Movie Outline is a well-developed software package which has many features, designed to make screenplay writing much more satisfying.

It has many different templates which enable writers to include notes and track changes between drafts, and also allows scripts to be formatted in the approved layout and correct font for final submission. Movie Outline can provide the means for success, but it is up to you to provide the magic.

Want to Write Great Movies? Watch and Learn…

Filed under: Screenplay Writing Software by admin @ 4:15 pm on November 25, 2010

Screenwriting can be very rewarding. It enables you to have fun and explore ideas you find interesting.

However, creating a good outline for a film is not as easy as sitting at your desk and reeling off ideas.

It is vital that you hone your screenwriting skills by first watching and analyzing films.

Just as novelists do not tend to rise to the top of their game without being well-versed in other works, you will have to immerse yourself in the world of films and learn as much as you possibly can before you achieve success.

While you should avoid stealing ideas from other people, you can use the material to sharpen your own style. It is also possible to see what can go wrong when making movies, so you can try to avoid falling victim to the same mistakes.

And you should not necessarily stick to the genre of films that you like the most.

By expanding your horizons in this way, you will come into contact with a broader range of ideas and techniques, all of which will be useful when you sit down with your script writing software to begin your own screenplay.

And as your career progresses, you will obviously have to remain in touch with the latest advances in the field, so the learning process never really stops.

So, if you are lacking inspiration when you settle down in front of your script writing software or feel your style could do with a little tweaking, take a break and watch a film. You can learn just as much from ones you hate as ones you love.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Resources

Screenwriting Blog

Buy Movie Outline 3 Online

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

What the Pros Say...

Hover over the screenshots to learn how Movie Outline can help your writing...