Tips to start screenwriting

Where do you begin if you want to write a script? How do you structure your story? Morley creative writing tutor Mike Harris gives his writing tips.

It’s commonly understood that the difference between a novel and a screenplay is that novels tend to explore the interior landscapes of a character’s thoughts and feelings while screenplays tell a story of what we see.
A screenplay is a story told with pictures, a visual medium that dramatizes story.
This story should have a beginning, middle and an end, although not always in that order and should engage the viewer with characters that have strong motivations.

It’s vital to remember that all drama is about CONFLICT and without this we don’t really have a story.
One way to create this is through character development, building a MOTIVATED character, who will chase their GOAL and thus push the dynamics of the story with ACTION. This goal can be finding love, success or fame, revenge, solving a crime or simply searching for contentment.

In the film, The Full Monty, the story is driven by the main characters need to find maintenance money in order to see his son. Bruce Robinson’s film Withnail and I, very much a character study, we follow the plight of two desperate actors trying to improve their dismal situation. Both stories are driven by desire and the motivation of the characters.
An understanding of good solid story telling is vital as is the need to understand plot points and structure. In this course we explore the techniques of the craft and work to develop each student’s story and help to turn it into strong professional script.

Where do you begin if you want to write a script? How do you structure your story? Morley creative writing tutor Mike Harris gives his writing tips.


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