Let’s first start by defining what a screenplay is NOT. It is not a play, and it certainly is not a novel. Unlike the novelist, who has complete freedom to explore any point of view, shift between conscious and subconscious mind, explore a character or a story from multiple perspectives, etc., the screenwriter MUST write in present tense and only what the audience can SEE and HEAR.

A screenplay is VISUAL. The playwriter, on the other hand, doesn’t have to worry about the visual medium. Often the play is simply a handful of characters - or even only one - standing there on a barren stage. Dialogue, Music, Lighting are all part of the stage. High speed car chases, however, belong in the movies. 

So if you’ve written a “Filmed Play”, look for ways to make it visual. Turn it into a movie.

Action and Activity

On one hand, the term action is used to describe the main story of a script - meaning a sequence of events leading to a definite outcome. On the other, it means an exertion of energy, an effort to achieve some objective, involving the character’s thought, emotion and will. In other words, action implies a purposeful pursuit of an objective.
And the bulk of the screenplay is the description of the actions and activities of the characters. The effective screenwriter thinks of the actions of the characters and how they should be seen by the audience. This is the heart of dramatic writing.
On one hand, the term action is used to describe the main story of a script - meaning a sequence of events leading to a definite outcome. On the other, it means an exertion of energy, an effort to achieve some objective, involving the character’s thought, emotion, and will. In other words, action implies a purposeful pursuit of an objective.…

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Visual Storytelling

You don’t want to explain to the audience, because that makes them observers. You want to reveal to them little by little and that makes them participants because then they experience the story in the same way the characters experience it. - Bill Wittliff…

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Camera as Narrator

In a movie, the camera dramatizes the process of viewing the action and bring it on screen, allowing our eyes to see only what and how the “camera narrator” shows it to us.
A film is “told”, but the story is shown by a camera narrator. Just like a narrator in literature, the camera can use tow points of view that equal the first and third person. We call them objective (through the eyes of a third person observer) and subjective (through a specific first person character).
If the story is told as one character’s story or “subjectively”, the camera plays the role of the first person observer, showing only scenes in which the main character participates. But in most movies, the camera assumes a more omniscient point of view. It is free to follow all the characters.
The real finesse begins when the camera is assigned not only a role - observer, omniscient narrator - but is is also assigned an attitude (curious, amused, anticipating, foreshadowing, etc.) And a character of its own (lyrical, critical, cynical, voyeuristic, etc.). As in literature, such a role and character needs to be introduced from the start and must be kept consistent throughout the whole picture to avoid a break of stylistic unity.
In a movie, the camera dramatizes the process of viewing the action and bring it on screen, allowing our eyes to see only what and how the “camera narrator” shows it to us. …

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Five Key Screenwriting Skill Sets

The modern decathlon is a set of ten athletic disciplines, testing an individual's strength, speed, stamina, technique, and endurance. Now when it comes to screenwriting, we certainly aren't sprinting, jumping, or throwing our way to the podium, but it does take the same five skill sets to secure success. 1. Strength Strength has everything to do with mind over matter. And for the screenwriter, it is no different. Mental muscle is key – because screenwriting is a thinking profession that just happens to use a very specific form of writing to illustrate those great thoughts.…

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20 Steps to Screenwriting Success

Screenwriting is a skilled trade, and a good screenplay must be molded and managed with craftsman hands. But so does a screenwriting career. It takes dedication, fortitude, and time – ten years to have overnight success - but if you’re willing to do the hard work to turn your ideas into completed screenplays as well as build a screenwriting career, follow this 20 step roadmap to screenwriting success:   Click Here to Start…

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Ten Steps to Completing Your Screenplay

Screenwriting is a skilled trade, and a good screenplay must be molded and managed with craftsman hands. But the hard truth is that good screenwriting is a “nose to the grindstone” occupation. And if you want to be a serious screenwriter, you must make the commitment. Be disciplined, get organized, prioritize, and above all else, write. So if you’re willing to do the work to turn your idea into a competed screenplay, follow these ten key steps:…

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