How To Start A Screenplay
First things first – Screenplay format
The first thing you need to do to make your life way easier is to download a word preset or a screenplay software where you are 100% sure that you will be writing in a format that is accepted by the industry. It is no lie that script readers will not read a supposedly brilliant screenplay if it isn’t with one of the accepted screenplay formats.
By doing research you will eventually get in the dynamic of writing, even if it is about what you are researching. This process eventually leads to writing the screenplay. Maybe you’ll start writing a paper or taking notes on the theme you’ve chosen and someday you’ll find out that what you are really writing could be a scene of your new screenplay. But for research to really materialize in something real and of use for your screenplay, you need to set a DEADLINE.
The usual amount of time that is invested in research for a screenplay is about 2 to 3 months. This means that for 2-3 months you’ll have the same SCHEDULE in order to complete with as much detail as possible your research.
Screenplay – vomit your first draft, then polish
Once you have finished your research and you feel confident enough to write the screenplay or even if you don’t and you have spent 3 months of your life researching a topic and you still do not know how to start the script my advice is whatever happens, when that deadline that you have imposed to yourself comes, START WRITING.
That brings me to my next point…
Structure your sotries and your life
Stephen King said: if you want to be a writer you need to do two things: read a lot and write a lot. And as stupid as it may sound for some people, the truth is that a lot of intelligent people do not accomplish none of the two because “intelligent” people have more tricks to lie to themselves and don’t get the work done.
This way, by reading more you’ll have a more flexible mindset when it comes to structure and you’ll be capable of writing better, that simple. There is a great book that talks about story structure by Robert McKee called Story: Style, Structure, Substance and the principles of screenwriting. After reading this book you’ll understand pretty well the general ideas and principles of screenwriting. Principles not rules. Great book.
So above everything else is getting yourself writing and reading as much as you can. And actually doing those two things!
If not everything else, every brilliant idea you might have, every epic shot you have in your mind or that intelligent conversation between two characters will never translate into something real, into something of use so it all will be for nothing.
You do it or you don’t. It’s that simple. Some people do and others don’t that’s the difference between people.
So just do it!