Hints for beginners.

September 26th, 2010 by Ron

The Script Blogger

Many beginners believe there is a formula to writing a script and work on having this and that in certain places within the script.

There are no rules but there are expectancies and certain conventions that should be met and considered as guidelines.

How a script should look, what font should be used, what should be or should not be included in a spec script.

How many segments you divide your three acts into, the number of scenes per act, exactly where an act finishes or where the point of no return is placed, how a writer takes an idea from concept to a total presentation is dependant on the skill set of the writer, nothing else.

Nothing is not carved in stone; the variations on how a script can be conceived and presented are endless and totally individual, until you come to selling it.

In the writer’s world anything is possible, you can do it any way you want, you can buck convention and approach writing from a completely different aspect to anybody else, but in the end somebody else will decide if you have the skill, imagination and ability to create something worthwhile.

When a producer reads a script he will know if you thought it through, planned every move, stumbled for ideas, maintained the premised and developed your characters to be the story and not the plot.

Most importantly the metronome in his head and from his experience he will spot the rhythm immediately or be aware that your script has none, or equally as fast if it has one.

Amateurs will always be amateurs until they approach writing professionally.

That means dedication, learning the craft, thinking out side of the box and writing even when you don’t feel like it.

Professional writers do not take a day off, even if they are on vacation with the girlfriend, boyfriend, family or by themselves, their brain is working all of the time.

On concepts, past work, current work, marketing and building contacts. It is impossible to switch off the flow of thoughts, the need to get them on paper and show their work to the world.

Practice makes perfect, writing makes writers.

6 responses to “Hints for beginners.”

  1. Luellen says:

    Thank you for your web site and information, it is a great help and I hope to meet you in person one day. All the best, Lu

  2. Elden Higgons says:

    If I might –perhaps you should consider adding a few images. I dont mean to disrespect what youve said; its very enlightening, indeed.

  3. David says:

    Interesting. Thanks for the post. I always enjoy your advice-follow you on IMDB. I do have a question about writing a screenplay though, something I don’t understand. I know what you have stated here, but, so many “professional screenwriters” publish their books about how to write the perfect script, and they all stipulate that you must have 3 acts that come in at 90 minutes. It is made to sound like the standard and no one in Hollywood will even look at your script if it runs any longer. My confusion comes from scripts I have read, very good screenplays that easily run 2.5 hours. Maybe it has changed over the years but there are many good films that are much longer than 90 minutes. My feeling is, if the story can carry that much time, I will sit through a 2 and a half hour to 2 hour and 45 minute film. I don’t get the 90 minute boundary.

  4. Bob says:

    How about telling us something we don’t know? All this is hackneyed info that’s been told a thousand times.

    It appears a thousand times is not enough.

  5. JW says:

    That’s the problem, not being able to shut it off, keeps me up and night, that and coffee

  6. Carey says:

    Great post! Could you give us a list of your should and should not be in a spec so we don’t mess it up?