Writing a successful, blockbuster worthy screenplay entails some important details you need to keep in mind in order to make your film possible. When learning how to write a screenplay, you've got to remember it usually has to attract the right actor(s) and directors to be marketable so you want to get acquainted with the kinds of elements they look for in a screenplay.
How To Get And Keep The Audiences Attention
Almost every body has breakfast and goes to work in the morning, so unless these kinds of normal activities have some important part to play in your overall story, leave it out. Instead, decide how far into the script you can go just before the real action starts, or, better yet, start the screenplay off in the middle of the action and find a way to reveal any necessary parts of your back story within the course of the film. However, try to achieve an even "flow" to your screenplay's storyline with a smooth transition from scene to scene as you don't want to confuse or frustrate your audience.
Remember that the majority of your audience is going to be "living" your story through the mind, eyes and emotions of the main character, so make sure you know how your main character feels about the various situations presented to him or her in your script because "if the main character doesn't care, the audience won't either."
Character Development Tips To Keep In Mind When Learning How To Write A Screenplay
1. Show, Don't Tell
The best written screenplays aren't usually the ones with the most dialogue. Actors and Actresses don't get paid to talk, they get paid to act and let's face it, look good. In light of this, look for ways to cut character revealing dialogue and transform it into action. For example, say your main character is an animal rights activist, rather than having them inform their neighbor of this, have your main character feeding the neighborhood's stray cats. Another example would be, instead of having a character complement your lead as being generous, show the lead giving the kid who's delivering his groceries an extra tip.
2. The All Important Character Arc
Another thing that keeps your audience involved and interested is the "character arc". A character arc is a significant change that your character or characters undergoes, throughout the course of your film. This transformation has to be convincing so you'll need to build an understanding of first;
- how your character is
- establish the "problem" or "issue" they need to change
- why they need to change it
- and then carefully illustrate the factors that facilitate that change
Ideally all of these elements should again be 'shown not told' as part of the storyline itself, taking place as a kind of 'underlayer' or 'story within a story' in your screenplay.
For more information and tips on how to write a screenplay read Part 2 of this article at: