Scripting – A few things to learn to get you on the right track to be a Script Writer

Firstly, let me start by saying that I’m not a professional script writer. However, as I have started to write script after script I have had to learn a few things to make sure the script is in the right structure. One thing to note is that there is various websites out there that help with script writing as well as various software’s that help structure your writing, such as Final Draft and Celtx. These can be very useful if you decide writing is something you really want to commit to.

When I was younger I would start writing stories out with everything they said in order. This is a good start to making sure you know when you want dialogue to be spoken and when you just want the atmosphere to take over. When writing what a character is saying you have to make sure it’s in the centre on a different line. The name also has to be in capitals all the time. Before this you have to start with an action. For Example:

EXT. THE WOODS. LATE AFTERNOON. – 5.45PM

The woods are dark with tall trees covering any light that could shine in. The foggy outtakes from JESSICA, cloud her vision so she loses sight of EMMA. She becomes frantic screaming her name.

JESSICA

(Screaming)

Emma! Emma! Where are you?!

Even though it is hard to structure on here as it’s WordPress, all the writing would be closer together, however in this order. Firstly you can see the SCENE HEADING. This is represented with EXT which stands for External, meaning outside. If you were writing a scene that was in a living room you would start the SH with INT, which stands for Internal meaning inside. This is then followed by a full stop and the actual location. Following that is the time of day. This lets the reader know everything they need to know about where this scene is happening to stay on track with your story.

Secondly, you can see the ACTION. The action is where you describe what is happening in the scene. When the character is first seen in the script the characters name has to be in capitals, to show the reader there is a new character. After that, within the action the name can be in small caps. After that we can see the characters name when she is about to speak. This will always be in capitals, and will be one automatic on scripting software.

The next part is the Parenthetical. This is either an emotion or an action driven by an emotion of the character names above. It is always represented in brackets, slightly to the left of the characters name.

And finally the dialogue. The dialogue is the last thing that comes in the basic structure and is simpler written how you wish it to be written. There is more details about how the character speaks and pausing and timing however I will do that in a part two of scripting.

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