How to
write a screenplay

Read more About screenwriting

How to write a screenplay

How to create a movie script from scratch


So how do you bring your first scene to life?

You have a story, you want to write it down and finally publish it. If the story is a novel, you will not take too much into account the formatting of the script, a basic structure in chapters will do; at the end the final editor will re-write it the way is meant to match the publishing format. Scripts for movies / TV Show are a bit different. Screenplays have strict formatting rules and, those rules change in almost every country. Rules cover page layout, text margins, differentiation between a dialogue and a narrative paragraph and so much more... Failing to meet the requirements will probably result with your script not being read and thrown into a trash bin even before reaching the final reviewer. Of course, there are reasons for those rules. Good reasons. Who reviews the script needs to quickly assess its feasibility and for the actors to quickly discriminate what it is to be said vs. just a scene description. Historical reasons are also the factors that some margins are applied, for example, easy printing. Shall you be scared by all this? No! A general understanding of the areas will suffices at the beginning to let you into this amazing world. Basically any screenplay can be written just a with a normal text editor and if it is clean enough, that would be a very first for an absolute beginner.


Why do I need a script editor?

Even though any script can be written through any given textual mean (typewriter, word processor, etc.), there are additional things to be evaluated. Scripts have been produced for long time just using typewriters, but there is no need to stick to this process when we can reduce our pain into something more structured. Below some bullets to better define why it is better to use a script editor:

  • Focus on your story: first, you want to focus on the content. If every time you need to be careful to the formatting, the margins, the wrong font, you will never be free enough to let you imagination fly.
  • Complex stories: your story can have a very standard structure, a linear one with maybe 20 scenes, or can have flashbacks, different timelines, several characters and locations. When the number of elements increases, the chances to do mistakes goes exponential. Even worst, you might be going to assemble a script that does not have a clean workflow.
  • Statistics: scripts are evaluated by the story they tell, but also by the costs. Usually stories that occurs inside a studio (INT. = "interior") are cheaper (not always) to produce than those outside (EXT. = "exterior"). So script editors usually come with statistics tools that tell you, the number of locations, the number of words spoken, etc. .
  • 360 degrees: to write a clean and well-structured script you need to be able to jump from a detailed view to a global one, to see if the elements are well-placed together.

TwelvePoint has been developed so that all the recurring frustrating elements of screenwriting become irrelevant. You focus on the story, the app will take care of all the rest: font, formatting, layout. Our aim with TwelvePoint is to bring a tool that will make writing easy, fluid, quick. It does not matter what type of writer you are, if you like to plan in advance the scenes or if you want just to start writing... . TwelvePoint adapts to your styles. Ideally, with TwelvePoint you could write your script no knowing one single thing of screenwriting elements or formatting; just point and click, add items and publish. We do not recommend this! But, well, it is feasible... 🙂 Anyway like with all the automations, it is always good to know the basics... it will help you with more complex narratives and will help you to present your script to others using a naming convention that is generally accepted. To presents all the elements of a script we will use a very simple screenplay, not a masterpiece but with enough elements to give you the gist of which element is used and when.


FADE IN:

INT. DOWNTOWN — NIGHT

GEORGI enters the room. The room is dark and silent. He can barely see a table at the center with something big on top.

GEORGI
Is anybody here?

DANYL ADELE
He is here!  He is here!

DANYL and ADELE get closer to the table.

ADELE / DANYL
(shouting)
Happy birthday!

FADE OUT.