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Screenwriting Tips

Expert screenwriting tips by working screenwriters



Research. Research. Research.

Many pro screenplays get assignment work on an infrequent basis. A studio comes to them, offers a six figure sum for a screenplay based on a hot concept, something in the news, an existing novel, public domain article etc. If the screenwriter's given the task of writing a screenplay that takes part on say an aircraft carrier, the studio will arrange for them to visit one, talk to dozens of navel personal and so on.

If your script's arena is in a space that requires a particular knowledge set, then it's crucial you gain that knowledge set - or at least a solid grounding.

To be effective your script needs to have realism and authenticity.

You're going to have a hard time writing a legal-based drama or military script without in-depth knowledge of these areas. That takes time, dedication and a good amount of effort.

If you do the research, your script will be a great deal better for it.

If you hate the sound of this, simply avoid setting your script in an arena that requires expert or specialized knowledge.

How to gain in-depth knowledge

As a non-pro you're not going to have the leverage of a studio to gain access to aircraft carriers, hospitals and the like but the internet (and particularly google) are immensely powerful tools.

Virtually every occupation and speciality has internet forums dedicated to it. Do plenty of research first then find those forums (or the best one) - in most likelihood plenty of its members will be happy to help clarify any additional questions you have.

Youtube.com can also be invaluable. People with a specialism or particular interest often like sharing it - you'd be amazed at the excellent script research that can be done on Youtube - just don't get distracted, keep to the task at hand - get your screenplay completed.

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