Script writing can always be challenging especially when you hit a wall, it happens to all of us in any form of writing. Thankfully there are some great tips out there which have been shared by the likes of great screenwriters such as Roger Wolfson. Although Roger may not be a name you may be familiar with, I am sure you will be aware of the shows he has worked on. Roger has carved out a successful career for himself writing for hit shows such as Saving Grace, Law and Order and Fairly Legal.
Speak the Script
As you all know the majority of a script is dialogue, so it is really important for the dialogue to read well. Ask yourself how do people actually speak? Would someone say that? The last thing you want is your dialogue sounding unnatural. As a viewer the audience needs to be able to relate to characters and if the dialogue doesn’t flow it is an immediate disconnect. A great way to avoid this is by reading your dialogue out loud and see how it feels, if it feels wrong to you, there is a strong possibility that it will feel wrong to the audience.
Paragraph your Script
When someone is reading through your script the last thing they want is a long difficult read. An easy way to combat this is by breaking your script down into small paragraphs with no more than 3-4 sentences in them. This breaks the read up so it doesn’t feel like the reader is reading a novel, think quality not quantity.
Use a good Scriptwriting Program
You can have the best screenplay in history but if it doesn’t look right, the right people won’t even look at it. Presentation is very important, people in the entertainment industry read scripts constantly so if it looks like trash, they will assume its trash. Don’t let presentation be the reason why your script isn’t taken seriously.
The most important thing about your script is your characters, characters are the reason the audience become invested. Characters advance the narrative, use personal experience! You want the audience to hate a character? Use characteristics that have made you hate someone in the past, make them an awful person and vice versa for a loving character. Make sure you are constantly developing your characters, make people feel as if they know them.
Believe in your Writing
You need to write with conviction, it will shine through in your script if you don’t believe in what you are writing. Remind yourself that there is a reason why you do this, you are talented. Without self-belief you will get nowhere in this business. You should finish writing and feel excited about what you have created, if you don’t feel excited look at it again, something isn’t right. Don’t be afraid to show confidence in yourself, always back yourself and always back your writing. If you want someone to believe in you, you have to believe in yourself first.