As a writer the primary goal is to illicit emotion in the mind of the reader. The screenwriter has the same goal. It is vital to writing a successful screenplay to not forget that the main goal is the same is any other piece of writing. The question to ask yourself is whether you are focusing to much on the formatting and on the painting the picture for the movie element that you have forgotten to develop a successful story plot. As a screenwriter it is very important to paint a picture in the mind of the reader, because the intended medium is the screen. It is no good for a producer to enjoy a screenplay if they can’t envision it as a successful movie. However, it is important to not just jump into the story plot without a well structured story. It easier said than done to layout a good structure for ninety plus pages worth of writing. I believe I can layout a few useful tips.
First I find it important to at least have a beginning middle and end structure. If you are writing a ninety page screenplay the first twenty to thirty pages should favorably set up the basis for a good story. Start the screenplay out with a bang or an interesting situation or conversation. Maybe try having your main character even propose an interesting question. There is a lot of room for creativity here. The only standard for the beginning is that there is a situation that grabs the attention of the readers. The middle section in this should be sixty to seventy pages and the end section should be around thirty pages. During the middle section it is crucial to build upon the beginning, and to take your readers on an emotional journey with the main character or characters. The middle section should leave the readers emphasizing with the main character and should culminate in one final event at the start of the end section. This event will not be your resolution it should be the climax of the story and it should result in a series of events and actions that sum up the story. It is important that the sum of the story leaves the readers thinking, well answering the majority of the main questions. The reader should be able to be satisfied with the ending, but I find that in most great literature the reader is sort of frustrated with the ending. What I mean by this is that in most great works of literature, the authors answer the majority of questions, well not leaving complete closure. The lack of closure ends in a lasting impact on our lives and minds. These great authors also tend to end things in a way that reader does not wish it to end. This typically adds an extra sense of reality to the story.
Next it is important to spread the action out in such a way that there is no boring section in the screenplay. Especially if you are writing an action screenplay; well it is important to spread the action, it is also important to not just have there be constant action. There should be sufficient explanation of the action, and just enough so that the reader can sort of settle into there chair and think the story over a little before another action scene is thrown there way.
Finally, it is extremely essential to be real and relatable as an author. I found as I was editing Reaching The Start that there were some quirky things that I didn’t realize to be quirky at first. I found it necessary to cut some scenes that were to corny or unrealistic and didn’t help the story. I also found it necessary to keep some scenes, because they were needed to keep things real and also keep a bit of comic relief. When telling a story always keep your personal voice. Practice making sure you can get readers involved by authoring short stories. If you write amazing short stories, how marvelous could it be if one of those stories were expanded?