So you want to be a screenwriter, but where do you start? What tools and resources are necessary to learn to be a screenwriter? Do I have to spend a lot of money to get started? These are all common questions, which I will answer in this article.
Easy tips on how to write a movie script:
1) Read as many screenplays as you can. Learn the format and language of how screenplays are constructed. For instance, screenplays are always written in the present tense and often use minimal description to set scenes and create atmosphere. The rule of thumb is: never write more detail than you need.
2) Use computer software to format your scripts. To succeed in Hollywood, you have to use proper screenplay formatting. People who work in the industry are used to screenplays following an accepted format and layout. If yours does not, you are out of the ball game before it has even started. If you've got the money to spend ($ 100-200), I suggest Movie Magic Screenwriter as the software of choice. In my opinion, it FAR SURPASSES the competition. If your budget is tight, there are also many low-cost software options available (under $ 100), as well as free templates that plug into MS Word.
3) Learn to outline your stories. You can do this on a computer, or you can use the "traditional" method of breaking down your screen story through the use of index (3×5) cards. Either method will allow you to move your scenes about and find the proper flow of your story. During this process, you may discover "miracles" that will take your story to the next level … or you may find out that that "precious" scene you've been thinking about is not even needed!
4) Purchase some screenwriting books to help you learn the process of storytelling and how to structure your story. William Goldman, screenwriter extraordinaire, is famous for saying that screenplays are, "Structure, structure, structure." Movies do not have time to meander like novels. They need to be tightly constructed, with no flab. There are some great books on the market. Hit your local bookstore to familiarize yourself with a few. One of my favorites on how to write a commercial screenplay is Blake Snyder's SAVE THE CAT!