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Screenwriting Tips

Expert screenwriting tips by working screenwriters



Screenwriting Resources

Screenplay format guides

Screenplays

Screenplays must be formatted according to the industry's rules - if you disobey or ignore these rules, most agents/managers will discard your script as its clearly not at a professional level.

Screenwriting software such as Celtx (excellent and free) and Final Draft will aid you greatly in obeying these rules but they can't do the job entirely. Consequently you need a solid understanding of the industry's formatting rules.

There are dozens of format guides available on the web. Three excellent ones are included below:

Nicholl Fellowship screenplay format guide

Joe's Guide to a professional looking screenplay

Teleplay format guide by Matt Carless (95% applicable to screenplays)

Screenplay writing software

Screenplay Writing Software

We strongly encourage the use of professional screenwriting software. They'll help you format your script correctly and should make your writing experience more enjoyable and faster. The industry standard is the excellent (but costly) Final Draft.

We highly recommend the open source (and free!) Celtx. It lacks some of the advanced features of Final Draft but is none-the-less an excellent offering and is easy to use.

Where to find screenplays

Screenplays

To progress as a screenwriter it's essential you read as many professional scripts as you can. Many writers go as far as to say that you shouldn't write a screenplay until you've read at least a 100 professional scripts.

For legal reasons many sites offering free screenplays have been taken down.

You can find professional screenplays and teleplays (free to download) here:

Simply Scripts

My Movie Scripts

Oscar Screenplays

Nicholl Fellowship website: Extracts from 9 Academy Nicholl Fellowship winning scripts

Warner Bros website: Syriana Screenplay

Our Screenplay Coverage service

Due to production work we have suspended our coverage service for now.