Screenwriting for Film, Screenwriting Assistance
Script Editing, Turn Your Story into a Movie
A screenplay is fundamentally the skeleton of a film. Without the proper structure, everything falls apart. All the best cinematography, computer animation, shock value, and direction cannot repair it. Those elements only make it pretty as it drags itself to its (hopefully “unsequeled”) death.
Screenwriting is an entirely different way of writing. It is a specialized skill set that arranges the elements of a story for film into a specific chronological structure. You must be able to write visually, using sound and images to support action. Storytelling skills must be combined with dramatic structure, using creativity and imagination. Layers of emotional, behavioral, and visual elements must be precisely married with pointed narrative dialogue.
The first ten pages of a script are invaluable; they must include very simple keys that are incredibly difficult to incorporate. Every genre should be written differently. Many screenplays fail simply because the screenwriter has improperly labeled the genre. Films used to be labeled under one genre, now they are often labeled under 3-4; leaving it even more difficult.
It's important to remember that memorable films draw you in and make you think. They touch deep within the heart, eliciting an emotional response. Film is a visual medium that tells a story that the audience can relate to, and that should be the focus. Even if it's sci-fi, a successful film will find different ways to connect the viewer with the character(s) thoughts, emotions, situation, or difficulties. Every scene, gesture, visual element, and piece of dialogue should have a purpose, moving the story forward.
What appears to be meaningless dialogue, may be necessary for revealing character, behavior, or a change in thoughts and feelings.
For a screenplay to work, there must be a pressing intention and unanticipated obstacles along the way. The unexpected is not always the situation but the way the character(s) deal with a set of circumstances.
A "great story" or a "brilliant idea" does not necessarily transcend into a good or enjoyable film. As a word picture, everyone knows a person who is a master storyteller or a genius at setting up a joke. Another person, telling the same story or joke will bore people; the difference is the way the story is set up and told.
A screenwriter must be an imaginative, creative storyteller who understands how to write visually while mastering the screenplay structure. Writing a film script is not about following an outline or explaining the facts of a story - that's journalism. It's not something every writer can do. Good screenwriting for film can be learned – great screenwriting takes a creative knack that cannot be taught.
When it comes to the formatted layout of a script, there is an industry standard. A high number of treatments, query letters, spec scripts, and screenplays cross the desks of entertainment professionals, daily. If what they’re looking at is not at the industry standard, they will not take the time to read it or take you seriously.
Invest in someone who knows and understands the format of both the script and screenplay writing in its entirety. Find someone you can communicate not just your story to, but the feelings, emotions, and response you are looking to incite. I have years of experience in the industry and know what entertainment executives are looking for and how they want it presented.
If not now, when? Let me help you develop your idea into an intriguing screenplay for film. Contact me for a free consultation.
Adapted Scripts, Adapting Novels Into Movie Scripts, Adapted Screenplays for Film, Turn Your Story Into a Movie Script
Adapted Screenplays – or Adapted Scripts are movie scripts based on something that already exists in another form such as a book, documentary, play, true news story, or film remake.
Whereas it might sound easy to create an adapted screenplay from a novel, for example, an entirely different set of challenges emerge. The first misconception is that you are already given the story, so all a screenwriter needs to do is put it in the right format.
Screenplays are written entirely different than books or other mediums. As I explained in “Screenwriting,” you are writing visually, using images, action, behavior, emotion, and dialogue to tell a story. Imaginative dramatic storytelling is essential. What could take a novelist four chapters to explain or reveal, the screenwriter may need to show in an abbreviated scene. Not every chapter or portion of a written story, and not every character can be included in a screenplay; it would be extraneous, and you’d lose your audience.
Screenplays should generally be about 120 pages. Each page is roughly 1 minute of screen time, taking into consideration that films are usually about 90-100 minutes and generally no longer than 2 hours. The more dialogue you have, the more space it will take on each page often resulting in more script pages. The more action or visual elements you have, the less space it takes up on a script page. In certain dialogue-rich scenes and films such as possibly a courtroom drama, it may exceed the norm in script length. If that is the case, the dialogue had better be worth it - pointed and necessary or studio executives may be turned off at the length before they open the script.
Another thing that must be taken into consideration is the integrity and respect for someone else’s personal story, creative work, and the little piece of their soul that has gone into the work you’re adapting. It is a creative juggling act to remain true to someone’s life story or original art while remaining true to the responsibility of a screenwriter. It is their job to transcend that piece of work into something interesting, intriguing, and ready for film.
I have respect for what you've experienced, whether it be through life experience or the time and energy put into writing your fictitious piece of work. I will work with you to turn your story into a professional screenplay for film. Contact me for a free consultation or to get started.
Let Me Bring Your Story To Life
Creative Writer, Published Ghostwriter,
Published Author, Proofreader, Copy Editor
A ghostwriter is a professional writer who will write your story or book for a fee. It will be your name on the book cover as the author, yet the freelance writer-for-hire is doing the majority of the work. They assume no credit for the writing; they merely turn your idea into a copyrighted, publishable draft. Ghostwriting is a service that requires a specialized skill set and experience.
Many people have a story they want to tell, or knowledge they want to share; yet they lack the time, skill set, discipline, or energy to get a book written. If you’ve been saying you’ll write a book for years and it hasn’t happened yet, chances are it may not unless you get help and take action. Contact me now to get the process started.
There are numerous benefits to hiring a ghostwriter, as opposed to attempting to write the book yourself. This specific type of writing is what they’re experienced at and skilled in doing. Like a formula, they streamline your story, without changing your voice. Carefully, they highlight what’s necessary, creatively weaving the storyline together.
They’re not emotionally involved in the story or what you’ve experienced. These facts can make it easier for them to understand what you’re trying to say, what you’re trying to share, and how you’re trying to share it. It’s often easier from the outside looking in.
A good ghostwriter respects the heart and soul you’ve put into your creative work. They will work it into the best form to share with readers and desire to give it heart, using your voice.
Hiring a ghostwriter is a great way to make the writing of your book, finally happen. It will get written faster, take less of your time, and you will not have to take additional time trying to figure out how to effectively write a book.
The process will still take some of your time; however, it will be a fraction of what it otherwise would be. You may feel you don’t know how to get what’s in your head onto paper. The ghostwriter will help you with that process, creating sort-of a blueprint or an outline for your story.
Make sure that the ghostwriter you hire is comfortable working in the specialty niche or genre in which you’d like your book to be published. You don’t necessarily want to hire someone who is most proficient in writing horror, to write your children’s book or “how to” book. Keeping that in mind, understand that many creative writers are gifted to work in several genres effectively. You want to feel comfortable with your writer because you will open a line of communication with them in order for them to produce your book using your “language.”
Remember, a ghostwriter is essentially someone there to help you share a story or experience – real or imagined. They use their creative gifts and expertise to assist you in accomplishing a final, publishable manuscript draft.
As a published ghostwriter, published author, and passionate, creative writer, I can help you accomplish that dream of finally writing your book. It could open up a whole new career or a lucrative hobby for you.