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Screen Writing

Script writing or screen writing involves writing scripts for films, television and video games. What is a script? A script is but a document that delineates all the elements required to tell a story in a film, episode or game. The elements involve the ocular, behavioural, oral and acoustic aspects of the story.

The structure of a screen play may vary depending on the writer. The three-act structure divides the film/story into the set up, confrontation and resolution. The set up introduces the location and the characters while the confrontation involves an encounter with a problem or obstacle. The resolution is that act where the story culminates into a climax. The set up and resolution last about thirty minutes in a two hour film while the confrontation lasts about an hour.

The Syd Field's Paradigm divides the three-act structure into four pieces. Field also introduced plot points which are important structural positions which occur at the same place in most movies (examples include verses and choruses in a song). The sequence approach, on the other hand, divides the story into sequences, each lasting the length of a reel. It is also called the eight-sequence structure.

As a beginner, read screen plays of movies you liked. Compare it with the movie you watched and visit the places that were changed or revamped. Movies on the big screen may often differ drastically than the story in the script stages and this lets you understand the weaknesses and gaps in the story line. This can be a great learning process for the beginner. Also get into the habit of writing everyday even if it means writing a page. Writing is an incredibly difficult process and you cannot always keep waiting for inspiration to strike you.

Exploit your strengths and stick to writing genres you are best at. Shape the story of your screenplay around your stronger points and in the meantime, work on your weaknesses. Focus on the goal of your characters to hold the interest of the audience. A story where the characters have no idea where they are going and are not clear as to what their goals are is bound to lose the audience at some point. Do not get so engrossed into creating secondary characters that you lose the protagonist mid way. Your protagonist will be one of the main attractions of the movie and so create a character that the audience can relate to. Do not just write for yourself, write for the audience too.

Unpredictable plots and twists keep the audience hooked to the story. Keep surprising the viewers, take bold risks and give them something they have never seen before. Have something to say through your movie. It is why most writers start writing in the first place. Finish the story and do not send it immediately. Wait for a month or two and then read your script again. Looking at it with a fresh perspective will provide you with a less biased and unnecessarily critical opinion which you are likely to do when you are writing the screenplay.

Hobbylancer and You

So why wait any longer? Network with screen writers from around the world, obtain screenplays of movies you liked and discuss the weaknesses and strengths of various scripts with other screen writers. Post jobs, apply for the same and find television/film/game projects in your locality to write for and enhance your skills. Augment your experience as a screen writer right here at Hobbylancer.

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