How To Structure A Script

A simple guide to structure your script

You sit down and you decide to watch your favorite TV show. You like how it starts, how it progresses, and most importantly how it ends. In a way, this TV show spoke to you. Then one day, you get an idea for a TV show and you decide to write your own script. That's great except one thing... do you even have a clue to write a story that's even structured?

Every story that we hear today has structure and without having a simple beginning, a middle, and an end then it will be very confusing for your readers (and even the potential buyer to understand the story). Every story has this. It doesn't make sense to have a story that follows as such: "A boy walks in the middle of the street. A radioactive man blows up. Some mom tells her son no to not buy radioactive rat poison." It doesn't make the least bit of sense without the beginning, the middle, and the end. However, I've seen many people's scripts that don't follow this structure.

Let's go over the structure:

The beginning: This is the beginning of the story. Usually, this is the part of the story that explains your main character(s) as they become involved the main plot of the story. Supposedly, if your story is about two best friends who deal with being evicted. Normally, it would be neccessary to write what happened before they got evicted. If you're writing the first episode of your new potential show then it would be neccessary to have things escalate up to the point where the twist is and to the main plot of the story. The beginning should be able to grab your audience or at the very least, your reader, emotionally.

The middle: Simple enough. When writing your script. It only makes sense to have a middle. The middle is usually of the "point of no return" simply because that's when the character is unable to escape their problem. It's also the point where your audience or the reader of your script has a conscious idea about what your script is about. The middle is the part where your character is figuring how to escape, resolve, or even prevent something horrible. You can add in twists into your story out of nowhere in the middle of the script. Here, in the middle, lies the most freedom anyway. In the beginning, you have to explain what's going on in the story and sure, you can throw in a bunch of surprises here and there. However, the beginning, at its basic level, is where you have to explain what's happening or how everything comes together. You can fool around with the middle all you want but remember you have to be  able to wrap everything up in the end.

The end: That leads me to finish off the structure diagram. Now before you go off and call yourself done. The end is where everything ends. You can choose the ending of your story in two ways. Option 1: Write as you go along. Don't do Option 1 if you are a novice writer. Instead, do Option 2 which is when you already know how the story ends. It's best to wrap everything up at the end of the script unless you're certain that your script will get picked up. Never ASSUME that you can leave off on a cliffhanger unless you KNOW that your show will get picked up. The last thing you want is another MY NAME IS EARL. IF you have no idea what I'm talking about then watch the sad last episode here. Don't end your script like this unless you ABSOLUTELY KNOW that you can wrap it up later.

That's it for the diagram. It's simple and basic and can be easily remembered at any time. Just remember to add structure to your script and that will increase your chances of getting your script picked up.