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Tips for youngsters: How to be a great script writer

By Pallavi Kanungo,

It is important to make the beginning of a script truly intriguing.

Overuse of dialogues should be avoided while writing a script.

If your youngster is a fluent writer or has a special knack of writing stories, he or she might have the urge to make a career as a professional writer. While most aspiring writers choose journalism as a preferred career option, scriptwriting can also be an occupation, that is not only innovative but also engaging. 

Scriptwriting is one of the most important elements of a film-making exercise, be it a 3-hour motion picture or television or web series. Creating scripts involves writing a story. To be precise, it is like creating the blueprint of a video production. It is a pre-production process and sets up the entire plan of what follows. In fact, what the audience visualizes on screen are first imagined by the scriptwriter.  

Scriptwriting includes the entire narrative structure, from creating main characters, supporting roles, deciding on their dialogues, sequencing, locales, actions, and expressions. It is through a finished script that a film gets its proper shape and everyone else associated gets an idea of what it would look like. It is even said that it is the script that controls half the fate of a film.  

However, not all competent writers can start writing scripts at random. It involves a lot of time and effort to become a ready scriptwriter. Here are a few tips for beginners who wish to write scripts. 

Focus on the beginning 
It is always the first few pages that make or break a scriptwriter’s prospect. If the first few scenes of the script can convince filmmakers and financiers, then there’s no looking back from there. Most executives or script readers associated with production houses spend their time on the first 10 pages to decide whether they want to proceed with it or not. This is why it is important to make the beginning truly intriguing. It might not be full of action, but it should captivate the readers. The beginning should be such that it is able to drive the entire story till its very end.  

Make it relatable 
One of the major scriptwriting techniques is to make the story and the characters relatable. This is why even the superheroes have a normal human touch in them when we see a superhero film. The main intention of a good script should be to keep the audience glued to the screen, and this happens only when they can connect to the things happening on-screen. It may be a normal day-to-day conversation between a mother and her child or a complicated scene where a doctor breaks down after losing a patient; whatever be the angle, it should appeal with the audience. A scriptwriter also may use archetypes to make a compelling impact. 

Introduce all the critical elements as early as possible 
All great scriptwriters follow this diligently, i.e., introducing all the major elements of the film or the series in the first few scenes of the script. If it’s an action drama, implementing one or more action scenes within the first few scenes is important. Similarly, if it’s a musical, there has to be a song and dance sequence within the first few minutes. The scriptwriter always has a theme, mood and genre in mind, hence introducing those elements in the very beginning is a smart screenplay technique. This way the audience knows what to expect throughout the film. In simple terms, it is setting up the premise for the entire story. 

Avoid making common novice mistakes 
Writers often confuse between writing a story for readers and creating screenplay for a visual. They both are distinct and shouldn’t be confused with one another. Moreover, amateur scriptwriters often make other errors like keeping the script hanging for long. This is a big no-no. It is recommended to finish a script, or at least significant parts of it (like the structure of the main plot) and not leave it untouched for long. This not only ruins the continuity but at times even spoils the entire narrative. Scriptwriters must also remember to not put in unnecessary description or use too many dialogues, making the script lengthier than it needs to be.  

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