One of the mistakes that an novice screenwriter makes is that they think that all you need a good plot, that is not true. It’s the characters that make a story more engaging. Think of a good character and you can design a plot around them. In this article I’ll explain the first three steps that most screenwriters do when they are writing a screenplay, these are; decide what genre and theme you would like to go for, think of an interesting central character and construct a plot around the character and theme.

What Is Genre And Theme?

The genre of the script is what category it falls into, such as; horror, romantic comedy, action adventure, gangster etc. It’s always good when you are writing your first screenplay to pick a genre you are familiar with. The theme is what your overall story is about. This should be able to be summed up in one sentence. For example you could have a film that fits into the action adventure genre but the theme could be a political story about good and evil.

Think Of Engaging Characters

There are many different ways to think of engaging characters. One technique I like to use is to take a notepad with me wherever I go. When I see somebody in the street I like to observe them, look at what they are wearing, imagine what job they might have, listen to how they talk etc. Soon you will have made up an entire fictional back story about this person.

Constructing Plot Lines

After I have the theme and character I always put that character in a situation. So if I have made notes about someone I have just observed on the street and the theme of the story is political, I will put that character into a political situation, like a protest for example. I then will imagine what they would do and how they would react to that certain situation and after that you have the basis of what could be a very interesting plot line.

This is just one way to think of an idea for a screenplay. If you have other techniques then by all means use them, or if you only want to use one of these idea then go ahead. After time you will develop your own ways of writing anyway. I would always advise getting as much screenwriting advice and tips as possible all through your screenwriting career. You never know when you might use a certain technique.

Author: Alejandro Manuel


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